Featured image: Brandon Farris/Airways

Global Air Passenger Demand Up 10.7% in May

DALLAS — The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its data for global passenger demand in May 2024, showcasing a significant rise.

The data demonstrates a strong recovery and continued growth in the air travel sector, with a year-on-year increase of 10.7% in May, a record high load factor and significant demand increases across all regions.

Overall, airlines achieved a record load factor of 83.4%. Walsh highlighted the challenges faced by air navigation service providers (ANSPs), citing significant delays in Europe and the US, and called for improved performance from these providers.

As always, challenges remain, particularly in air traffic control performance in Europe and the US. The association calls for improvements to ensure smooth operations during the peak travel season. Here are the highlights:

Overall Growth:

  • Passenger demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), surged by 10.7% compared to May 2023.
  • Total capacity, indicated by available seat kilometers (ASK), saw an 8.5% year-on-year increase.
  • The load factor for May reached 83.4%, a record high for the month and a 1.7 percentage point increase from May 2023.

International vs. Domestic Demand:

  • International demand rose 14.6% compared to May 2023, with capacity up by 14.1% and a load factor improvement to 82.8%.
  • Domestic demand increased by 4.7% year-on-year; capacity edged up by 0.1%, and the load factor climbed to 84.5%.
Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

Detailed Regional Performance

Global Overview:

  • Africa: Demand increased by 13.4%, capacity by 8.5%, and the load factor rose to 72.9%.
  • Asia Pacific: A leading region with a 14.9% demand increase, 9.2% rise in capacity, and a load factor of 81.8%.
  • Europe: Demand grew by 10.3%, capacity by 9.7%, with an 85.2% load factor.
  • Latin America: Saw a 7.9% demand increase, 5.3% rise in capacity, and an 83.4% load factor.
  • Middle East: Demand increased by 10.2%, capacity by 8.9%, and the load factor was 80.8%.
  • North America: Demand rose by 6.5%, with an equal rise in capacity, and a high load factor of 85.8%.

International Passenger Markets:

  • Asia-Pacific: The strongest growth with a 27.0% increase in demand and a load factor of 81.6%.
  • Europe: Demand grew by 11.7%, capacity by 11.3%, and a load factor of 84.7%.
  • Middle East: Demand rose by 9.7%, capacity by 9.0%, and a load factor of 80.7%.
  • North America: A slower increase with 8.1% in demand and a slight drop in load factor to 84.0%.
  • Latin America: A notable increase of 15.9% in demand and a load factor of 85.1%.
  • Africa: Demand increased by 14.1%, with the highest load factor improvement to 72.3%.
Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways

Domestic Passenger Markets:

  • Australia: Demand rose by 4.4%, with a load factor of 79.1%.
  • Brazil: Slight increase in demand by 0.6%, load factor at 79.4%.
  • China: A strong 7.6% increase in demand, despite a capacity drop, with an 82.3% load factor.
  • India: Demand grew by 4.6%, and a high load factor of 88.6%.
  • Japan: A decrease in demand by 1.8%, with a load factor of 72.3%.
  • US: A 6.0% rise in demand and a load factor of 86.7%.

View the May Air Passenger Market Analysis.

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