Corporate Traveller

Air travel demand slows in March

The latest results from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show the rate of growth in travel activity has slowed slightly over March.

Total revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs (a measure of actual passenger traffic) grew by 3.1 per cent compared to March 2013.

This represented a slower pace of growth compared to the February year-over-year traffic score, which grew by 5.6 per cent. However, traffic growth during the first quarter of this year reached 5.6 per cent, which is higher than the 5.2 per cent growth recorded during the first quarter of 2013.

RPK rose by 2.6 per cent for the international market and 4 per cent in the domestic market compared to March last year. The available seat kilometres or ASKs (actual passenger capacity) also increased by 5.3 per cent in March compared to the same time last year.

Asia Pacific carriers recorded some of the lowest growth in traffic during March. International traffic increased just 1.1 per cent compared to the year prior, with capacity rising by 5.3 per cent and load factor falling to 76 per cent overall.
In the domestic market, Australian business travel experienced an increase with RPK growing by 1.5 per cent compared to March 2013. Passenger capacity was also higher (up by 3.3 per cent) and passenger load factor was at 75 per cent.

"After a number of very strong months we are seeing a slowing of demand growth," said IATA Director General and Chief Executive Officer Tony Tyler.

"The strong performance of advanced economies nevertheless is likely to support the continued growth of traffic in the coming months."