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June 2018 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis
RPK growth bounces back in June, capping a robust 1st half-year

A modest acceleration in RPK growth this month…
Industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) stepped up to a brisk 7.8% year-on-year pace in June, from an even 6.0% in both April and May. In seasonally adjusted (SA) terms, RPKs rebounded this month, following a shortlived decline in growth last month. SA RPKs rose by a sizeable 1.4% in June - the strongest monthly rise seen in almost two years – after the 0.5% fall in May. As we indicated last month, the monthly data can be volatile and the rebound on this occasion is unsurprising; taken together, the last two months point to a monthly growth rate that is broadly in line with the long-run average.

…although growth has moderated in 2018 so far

Looking at the first half of the year, RPKs are growing at a solid pace of 7.0%, consistent with our view that 2018 will be another year of above-trend growth for industry-wide RPKs. Having said that, the pace of growth over the first half of the year has moderated compared with 1H 2017, where growth was running at an 8.3% pace. This moderation in the pace of growth over the first half is in line with our expectation that RPK growth, while remaining robust, will onetheless slow moderately in 2018 compared with the rate recorded last year.

Reasonably strong African upward trend
In Africa, the upward SA demand trend remains reasonably strong, perhaps supported in part by the continent’s recent commitment to improving air connectivity. Higher oil and commodity prices have supported the economic backdrop in a number of countries, including Nigeria.

Highlights of the June 2018 Air Passenger Market Analysis

  • Industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres increased by 7.8% year-on-year in June, up from 6.0% in April.
  • The first six months of the year produced growth of 7.0% – a robust, above-trend performance, but down on that of the same period in 2017. This is a pattern we continue to expect to play out over the course of the year overall.
  • Carriers based in Africa and the Middle East posted the fastest international RPK growth rate this month. Of the main domestic markets, India again led the way with double-digit RPK growth for the 46th consecutive month. Download the full document here. 

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