African airlines post 2nd fastest growth rate

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African airlines posted the second fastest growth rate in the world in August (6.8%), according to a report issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Monday.

Africa’s has a 2.2% share of the world market for passenger air transport.

In combined domestic or intra-Africa and international traffic, Africa recorded a 3.4% year-on-year (y/y) rise in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK) flown. RPK is the standard industry measure of actual passenger traffic.

At the same time, the available capacity rose 0.6% measured as Available Seat Kilometres (ASK).

This pushed Passenger Load Factors (PLF) - which is the percentage of ASKs used - up by 2.1 percentage points for an average PLF of 77.9% across all airline flights to, from and within Africa.

Factors influencing the demand include the increasingly challenging environment in Nigeria and South Africa, according to the IATA report.

In the international market Africa has a 1.9% share of the world market for passenger air transport.

African airlines experienced a 6.8% y/y increase in demand for international air travel in August. This represents a slowdown from 7.4% growth recorded in July.

Capacity on African airlines’ international flights rose 3.8% in August.

At the same time, the available capacity rose 0.6% measured as ASK across the combined domestic, intra-Africa and international market, but was 3.8% up on African airlines’ services to and from markets beyond the continent.

This nudged PLF up by 2.2 percentage points for an average PLF of 78.2% across flights to and from Africa.

IATA also released a report based on freight traffic.

Regarding Africa, the analysis that during August 2018 Africa has a 1.9% share of the global air freight market. It found that demand conditions on all key markets to and from Africa remain weak.

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