IATA: 10.7% growth in air travel demand in May

Written By Mark

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed the latest data for the air travel sector in global markets for last May, which showed a 10.7% increase in total demand for air travel compared to May 2023, and airlines in the Middle East witnessed an increase in demand for travel by 9.7%.
IATA explained in a statement that the strong demand for travel continued, as airlines recorded a record for the month of May, achieving an occupancy rate of about 83.4% of their seats, with ticket sales for travel in the peak season increasing by about 6%, which reflects the aviation sector continuing its growth journey without decline.
The statement also indicated that airlines are doing everything they can to ensure smooth flights for all passengers during the peak summer period, noting that the performance of air navigation service providers is important to airline customers and millions of passengers. Willie Walsh, Director General of the International Air Transport Association, said: “We all need them to do their job efficiently.”

International Passenger Markets
IATA explained that all regions showed strong growth in international passenger markets in May 2024 compared to May last year, with an increase in seat occupancy for aircraft in all regions except North America.
Asia-Pacific airlines continued to lead the industry, with demand increasing by 27% year-on-year. Capacity increased by 26% year-on-year and seat load factor rose to 81.6%. This performance maintains Asian airlines as the largest contributor to industry-wide growth in May, accounting for 42% of the year-on-year increase.
European airlines saw demand increase by 11.7% year-on-year. Capacity increased by 11.3% year-on-year, and seat load factor reached 84.7% (up 0.3 percentage points compared to May 2023).

The Middle East
Middle Eastern airlines saw demand increase by 9.7% year-on-year. Capacity increased by 9% year-on-year, and seat load factor increased by 0.5 percentage points to 80.7% compared to May 2023. Asian routes to the Middle East are particularly strong, now around 32% higher than in 2019, with European routes also showing notable developments.
The Middle East region saw an increase in the number of passengers per kilometre in April and May for two years in a row.
African airlines saw demand increase by 14.1% year-on-year. Capacity rose by 8.2% year-on-year. Load factor rose to 72.3% (+3.7 percentage points compared to May 2023). This was the fastest load factor increase among all regions, although Africa still had the lowest load factor overall.

North and Latin America
North American airlines saw demand increase 8.1% year-over-year. Capacity increased 9.7% year-over-year, and load factor fell to 84.0% (-1.2 percentage points compared to May 2023).
Latin American airlines saw demand increase by 15.9% year-on-year. Capacity rose by 14.3% year-on-year. Load factor rose to 85.1% (+1.2 percentage points compared to May 2023), the highest among the regions.
Domestic demand rose at a steady pace in May. China’s growth picked up in line with the post-Labor Day holiday. Japan’s fell -1.8%, possibly reflecting weaker business and consumer confidence.