THE global airline industry “is in a good place” at the beginning of 2018 after posting 8-percent growth in November, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.
“The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. November’s strong demand gives the industry momentum. The number of unique city-pair connections now tops 20,000,” IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement.
“Passengers not only have more travel choices than ever, [but also]the cost of travel in real terms has never been cheaper,” he added.
“Along with delivering great value to consumers, airlines are rewarding their shareholders with normal levels of profitability. We expect 2018 to be the fourth year in a row when the industry’s return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital. In sum, we begin the New Year with confidence,” de Juniac added.
IATA reported that passenger traffic rose by 8 percent in November, considered the fastest growth rate in five months and up from a 7.3-percent year-over-year increase in October.
Capacity, meanwhile, went up by 6.3 percent, and load factor rose 1.2 percentage points to 80.2 percent.
Despite the growth, de Juniac said challenges in the industry remain.
“Security threats continue. Infrastructure issues persist. Fees and charges are a growing part of the cost base.
And in many cases airports and air traffic management struggle to keep pace with demand and technology advancements,” he said.
“These and other challenges can only be addressed in partnership with governments. And doing so requires governments to recognize the enormous value that aviation—the business of freedom—provides to their economies and the world,” the IATA chief added.