Cape Town - Global airline share prices performed strongly in May, surging 7.8% to be up more than 20% over the past year, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said on Wednesday.
European airline shares led the way again, with a 14.3% rise.
According to Iata, the latest financial results for the first quarter provide further evidence of the squeeze on airline profit margins, reflecting higher costs and weak yields. Industry-wide free cash flow also eased in the first quarter, compared with the outcome in the first quarter of 2016.
The fall in Brent crude prices in April extended into May and despite some recovery, the monthly average price fell almost 4%. Jet fuel prices behaved in a similar fashion and were down 5.6% for the month overall.
The strong start to the year for passenger and freight demand growth has continued. The passenger load factor set a new record high in April while freight loads consolidated recent gains.
Growth in premium passenger traffic has exceeded its economy counterpart in many key markets in the past year.