October air traffic increases 7.2 percent

Global passenger traffic up 7.2pc in Oct: IATA

The inventory-to-sales ratio in the United States is looking sideways, thereby indicating that the period when companies look to restock inventories quickly-which often gives air cargo a boost-has ended.

Airlines in Asia-Pacific are expected to see higher profits of US$9 billion next year from US$8.3 billion anticipated for 2017, says the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In its statement, IATA said the US figure, up from a forecast $15.6 billion in 2017, actually represents a slight fall away in market share.

The data showed Asia-Pacific airlines leading all regions with traffic growth of 10.3% from the comparable period a year earlier, and up from an 8.7% rise in September.

"These are good times for the global air transport industry".

IATA noted that labour costs are now a larger expense item than fuel, comprising 30.9% of costs in 2018.

Freight volumes are still expected to grow in 2018, although at a slower pace than in 2017.

Cargo demand is also expected to grow, with the amount to cargo carried predicted to rise to 62.5 million tonnes-up from 59.9 million tonnes in 2017. "We remain on course for another year of above-trend growth". Worldwide traffic for North American carriers grew 3.7% during the month (compared to 3% in September) as global capacity in the region grew 5.2%, causing the region's worldwide load factor to slide 1.1 points YOY to 79.2%. Capacity grew 9.1 percent, but load factor decreased.3 percent.

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IATA said the global air passenger performance in October was helped by a lack of weather-related impacts.

The cargo business continues to benefit from a strong cyclical upturn in volumes, with some recovery in yields, Iata said in its report.

"Despite the challenges, there is positive momentum heading into 2018". This was down from $1.1bn in 2016.

"The number of scheduled aircraft departures is forecast to exceed more than 38 million next year". North America was one of just two regions to post a load factor decline.

He said the aviation industry benefits to the economy include 2.7 million direct jobs and support for 3.5 per cent of global economic activity.

Oil prices are expected to average $60 a barrel for Brent Crude in 2018, up 10.7 per cent from $54.2 per barrel in 2017, according to IATA.

The upward cost pressure from fuel prices is in tandem with rising charges by airline industry suppliers and new infrastructure costs that are contributing to an expected slowdown in capacity increases in 2018, he added. Airlines are achieving sustainable levels of profitability.

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