The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released air traffic data for November, which shows a 4.6 percent drop in international passenger traffic and 13.5 percent drop in international cargo. International capacity dropped by 1 percent. When compared to November of 2007, the international passenger load factors dropped three percentage points to 72.7 percent.
“The industry is now shrinking by all measures," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and CEO. "The 1 percent capacity cut in international passenger markets in November could not keep pace with the 4.6 percent fall in passenger demand. We can expect deep losses in the fourth quarter.”
November's decline in international passenger traffic of 4.6 percent continues the steady drop from the 1.3 percent demand contraction in October and the 2.9 percent fall in September. Asia-Pacific carriers experienced the biggest drop in November, with a 9.7 percent decline that followed a 6.1 percent contraction in October. The region also had the most aggressive capacity cuts at -5.1 percent. Meanwhile, the second largest drop among the regions too place among North American carriers at a decline of 4.8 percent. International traffic for European carriers dropped 3.4 percent as all the region’s major markets (intra-Europe, North Atlantic, and Asia) slumped.
Smaller emerging markets fared better, as African carriers experienced a traffic decline by only 1.6 percent, a considerable improvement from the 12.9 percent drop in October. Middle Eastern and Latin American carriers were the only wants to show growth in traffic instead of decline. Traffic on Middle East carriers increased by 5.6 percent, up from 3.5 percent growth in October, while traffic on Latin American carriers grew 3.3 percent.
“With no end in sight for the worsening global economy, the 2008 gloom will carry over into the new year,” said Bisignani. “Relief in the oil price has been outstripped by the falls in demand and capacity cuts are not keeping pace. The industry is back in intensive care. Improving efficiency everywhere will be theme for 2009.”