By Adekunle Williams and Solomon Asowata
Lagos – The International Air Transport Association (IATA’s) global passenger traffic result for May 2018 has indicated 6.1 per cent rise as against 6.0 per cent recorded in May 2017.
Mr Alexandre de Juniac, Director General of the Geneva-based apex aviation body made the announcement on Thursday.
He said Capacity climbed 5.9 per cent and Load Factor rose 0.1 percentage point to 80.1 per cent during the period under review.
“May was another solid month in terms of demand growth. As had been expected, we saw some moderation, as rising airline costs are reducing the stimulus from lower airfares.
“In particular, jet fuel prices are expected to be up nearly 26 per cent this year compared to 2017. Nevertheless, the record load factor for the month signifies that demand for air connectivity is strong,’’ de Juniac said.
According to him, African airlines’ traffic rose 3.8 per cent in May, which was an eight-month low while capacity rose 3.2 per cent and load factor increased by 0.4 percentage point to 66.4 per cent.
He noted that the region’s two largest economies: Nigeria and South Africa, may be moving in opposite directions again, with higher oil prices bolstering the Nigerian economy, while business confidence in South Africa had weakened again.
“Last month, IATA released its mid-year economic report showing expectations of an industry net profit of $33.8 billion.
“This is a solid performance. But our buffer against shocks is just $7.76. That’s the average profit per passenger that airlines will make this year – a narrow 4.1 per cent net margin.
“And there are storm clouds on the horizon, including rising cost inputs, growing protectionist sentiment and the risk of trade wars, as well as geopolitical tensions.
“Aviation is the business of freedom, liberating people to lead better lives. Governments that recognise this will take steps to ensure aviation is economically sustainable.
“And aviation works best when borders are open to trade and people,” de Juniac said in a statement posted on IATA’s website.