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HomeBusinessDomestic load factor up in January: IATA

Domestic load factor up in January: IATA

MUMBAI: In the first month of the year, demand for

air travel

was up about 17 %, while the airline seat capacity went up 14 % and passenger

load factor

almost touched 80 %, according to January data released recently by airlines’ trade body, the

International Air Transport Association

International demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), rose 20.8%; capacity, measured in available seat kilometers (ASK), was up 20.9% and the load factor remained at 79.7%, while domestic demand rose 10.4%; capacity was up 4.6% and the load factor was 80.2%, which was up by about 4 points, it said.

The total demand then was up 16.6%; total capacity, was up 14.1%; and the load factor was 79.9 %, said IATA.
The year 2024 is off to a strong start despite economic and geopolitical uncertainties, said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. “As governments look to build prosperity in their economies in the busiest election-year ever, it is critical that they see aviation as a catalyst for growth. Increased taxes and onerous regulation are a counterweight to prosperity. We will be looking to governments for policies that help aviation to reduce costs, improve efficiency and make progress towards net zero CO2 emissions by 2050,” he added.

airlines saw an 45.4% increase in January 2024 traffic compared to January 2023, continuing the region’s rapid recovery after the lifting of pandemic restrictions. Capacity climbed 48.1% and the load factor fell by 1.5 percentage points to 82.6%. “The exceptionally strong growth rate is largely attributable to China which was in the early stages of lifting Covid-19 travel restrictions in January 2023. The recovery in major international routes to/from Asia-Pacific is still lagging, but routes such as Asia-Middle East have exceeded pre-pandemic levels,” it said.

European carriers’ January 2024 traffic rose 10.8% versus January 2023. Capacity increased 10.7%, and the load factor edged up 0.1 percentage points to 77.3%. “Routes between Europe and North America have rebounded particularly strongly from the pandemic and stand 6.5% higher than in January 2020,” said IATA.
Middle Eastern airlines posted a 16.2% rise in January 2024 traffic compared to a year ago. Capacity rose 15.7% and load factor climbed 0.4 percentage points to 79.9%. North American carriers had a 12.3% traffic rise in January 2024 versus the 2023 period. Capacity also increased 13.7%, and load factor fell 1.0 percentage point to 79.4%. Latin American airlines’ traffic rose 17.9% compared to the same month in 2023. January capacity climbed 13.2%, pushing the load factor up 3.4 percentage points to 86%, the highest among the regions.
African airlines saw a 18.5% traffic increase in January 2024 versus a year ago. January capacity was up 19.2% causing load factor to decline 0.4 percentage points to 73.3%, the lowest among the regions.
When it comes to domestic markets, domestic demand growth continued to be led by China, which saw strong demand for Lunar New Year travel. “This is likely to have boosted traffic in February also. Chinese carriers have responded by increasing capacity, particularly by deploying wide-body jets,” it said.