Global air passenger demand grew 6 percent higher in June than a year earlier, a figure that the International Air Transport Association categorized as "robust growth." The uptick pushed the global passenger load factor to 81.7 percent, and passenger demand growth for the first six months of the year is up 4.8 percent over the first six months of 2012.
Internationally, passenger carriers in the Middle East experienced the highest gain of all regions in June, expanding by 12.1 percent compared to a year ago. IATA reports that this rise was fueled by demand on new routes to destinations in Africa and Asia, as well as the expansion of regional Gulf hub airports.
Domestically, Chinese carriers experienced the highest growth for June, with passenger demand there increasing by 14.6 percent compared to June 2012. Despite experiencing just a 3.4 percent increase in demand on international routes, and a 2.4 percent increase on domestic routes, North American carriers reported the highest passenger load factors at 87.4 percent internationally and 87.1 percent domestically.
Tony Tyler, CEO of IATA, said the global industry is on track to make $4.00 per passenger this year with a global net profit of $12.7 billion, which would be a 67 percent increase over 2012.
"But there are some headwinds," said Tyler. "Growth in the BRICS economies, including China, is slowing. And oil prices remain high…there is little margin for error and even a small change in the second half of the year could shift the outlook significantly."
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