2019 – 4.1% growth in international traffic
2019 international passenger traffic climbed 4.1% compared to 2018, down from 7.1% annual growth the year before, according to figures published by IATA. Capacity rose 3.0% and load factor edged up 0.8 of a percentage point to 82.0%.
Asia-Pacific airlines’ full-year traffic increased 4.5% in 2019, which was a large decline compared to 8.5% growth in 2018. This reflected the impact of the US-China trade war as well as weakening business confidence and economic activity. Capacity rose 4.1%, and load factor ticked up 0.3 percentage point to 80.9%.
European carriers saw a 4.4% traffic rise in 2019, which was down from 7.5% annual growth in 2018. Capacity rose 3.7% and load factor increased 0.6 percentage point to 85.6%, which was the highest for any region. The lowered results are attributable to generally slowing economic activity; declining business confidence, compounded by industrial disputes (strikes); Brexit uncertainty and the collapse of a number of airlines.
Middle Eastern airlines’ passenger demand increased 2.6% last year, the slowest pace of expansion among all regions and down from 4.9% growth in 2018. However, demand began to recover in the fourth quarter and the monthly growth of 6.4% in December led all regions. Annual capacity climbed 0.1% and load factor surged 1.8 percentage points to 76.3%.
North American airlines saw traffic growth slow to 3.9% last year, down from 5.0% in 2018, amid softer US economic activity and weaker business confidence compared to 2018. Capacity climbed 2.2%, and load factor strengthened 1.3 percentage points to 84.0%, second highest among the regions.
Latin American airlines’ traffic climbed 3.0% in 2019, a dramatic slowdown compared to 7.5% annual growth in 2018. Capacity rose 1.6% and load factor increased by 1.1 percentage points to 82.9%. The year was impacted by social unrest and economic difficulties in a number of countries in the region.
African airlines led all regions with a 5.0% demand increase, down from 6.3% growth recorded for 2018. Capacity rose 4.5%, and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to 71.3%. Airlines in the region benefitted from a generally supportive economic backdrop in 2019 as well as increases in air transport connectivity.
IATA and XCHG’s CBL Markets announce the world’s first “Airline Carbon Exchange”
Xpansiv CBL Holding Group (XCHG) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced in January a partnership to develop the Aviation Carbon Exchange (ACE), a new and innovative way for airlines to meet their emissions-reduction commitments as outlined in the Carbon Offset Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). CORSIA is a global-offsetting scheme ratified by members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), designed to help the aviation industry reach its goal of capping CO2 emissions at 2020 levels. In Q1 2020, CBL Markets and IATA plan to trial with airlines that want to start offsetting voluntary credits as a pilot phase.