Geneva – Passenger demand in Africa's air transport industry rose 4.9% in July 2015 compared with the same month in 2014, which pushed the African market into positive territory for the first time this year.
This is according to the global passenger traffic results for July released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) on Friday.
The industry body cautioned that the result could be owing to volatility in reported volumes, as fundamental economic drivers remain weak.
Capacity in the African air transport industry rose 3.9%, with the result that the load factor improved 0.6 percentage points to 70.9%.
The report shows that global passenger traffic results for July show robust demand growth compared to July 2014 for both domestic and international traffic.
“July results were strongly positive, but slowing global trade and the wild gyrations of stock exchanges around the globe suggest that we may be in for some turbulence in coming months,” said Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and CEO.
Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 8.2%, which was an improvement on the June year-over-year increase of 5.5%. July capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 6.5%, and load factor rose 1.4 percentage points to 83.6%.
Results were given a boost by the timing of Ramadan which fell partly in July this year, but took place mostly in July in 2014. The holy month tends to subdue demand for air travel.
Air freight demand among African carriers experienced growth in demand of 3.6%, and capacity rose by 11.4% in July. Iata said, in contrast to Latin America, the strong regional trade performance in Africa has underpinned solid air freight growth, despite the underperformance of the Nigerian and South African economies.