Figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have shown that global passenger traffic or RPK (revenue passenger kilometers) for June 2015 increased by 5.7% compared with June 2014.
This was a slowdown compared to the 6.9% year-over-year growth recorded in May 2015, in part owing to the timing of Ramadan, which depressed travel demand in the Middle East. Passenger capacity or ASK (available seat kilometers) for June 2015 climbed 6.0%, and passenger load factor (PLF) – the percentage of ASKs used – dipped 0.2% to 81.1%.
“June was another healthy month for demand for air connectivity, although slower trade activity in emerging Asia-Pacific markets and the impact of the Greek debt crisis on European travel remain worrisome,” said Tony Tyler, director general and CEO for IATA.
“Midway through the peak summer travel season in the Northern Hemisphere, demand for connectivity remains high. Tourism is the lifeblood of many economies and much of it arrives by air. Unfortunately, too often governments appear not to realize this, burdening airlines and travelers with high fees and taxes. The short-term financial benefit comes at the long-term expense of the economy. The French government’s decision to allow annual charges increases at Paris’s two airports between 2016 and 2020 is the latest example – incredible for a country where tourism and global business play such big economic roles. Dialogue between industry and government is critical to finding win-win solutions.
“That is what we are hoping for in India with the imminent announcement of its new aviation policy. Improved air connectivity would make a major contribution to the government’s efforts to make it easier to do business in India. For that, we need a policy framework that reduces onerous taxes and regulation and that continues to improve infrastructure and cost efficiency. Aviation has much to contribute to any country’s economy. But it will not happen by accident. The peak travel season should serve as a reminder to all governments of the importance of aviation policies focused on enabling aviation to catalyze economic growth,” said Tyler.