Air travel across the world is going strong, with robust growth across the sector, according to a new report released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Citing a 12-year high in traffic for the first half of the year, the report found that Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) had risen by 7.8% since the same time last year.
This is consistent with 7.7% global growth worldwide in the air travel industry in May, with all regions reporting growth. Analyzing the first six months of 2017, the report found that the industry was experiencing a 12 year high in traffic growth, as well as a record seat occupancy rate for the first half of a year.
The report predicts continuing growth, despite international political uncertainty, with IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac saying that ‘A brighter economic picture and lower airfares are keeping demand for travel strong. But as costs rise, this stimulus of lower fares is likely to fade. And uncertainties such as Brexit need to be watched carefully. Nonetheless, we still expect 2017 to see above-trend growth’.
Demand in North America rose 4.4% compared to June last year, with capacity increasing by 4.1%. The report expects the relative economic strength of North America in comparison to other parts of the world economy to help the region continue with robust growth in passenger demand. ‘This is all good news. The demand for travel is strong and that, in turn, will make a positive contribution to the global economy’ Said de Juniac.