Air Transport Market Analysis – May 2012

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Foto: Enos Moura Filho

Key points from IATA’s report on air transport markets in May:

* Air travel markets in May are showing some signs of weakness, after several months of strong growth;
* Year-on-year growth in passenger travel was down in May compared to April; with business confidence and growth in world trade both softening in recent months;
* Passenger demand increased by 4.5% in May compared to a year ago and the growth trend over the month was almost flat;
* The trend in air freight continues to show some positive signs, although the recovery is very small – May air freight traffic is about 1.5% above Q4 2011 levels;
* On a year ago, air freight was down by 1.9%, but that is an improvement on April;
* The improvement in air freight is narrowly based, with Middle Eastern airlines capturing 50% of the growth in air freight from late 2011 to May;
* On international passenger markets, all regions except for the Middle East have shown decline in year-on-year growth rates in May compared to April;
* On domestic passenger markets, China’s domestic travel weakened further with another month of relatively slow growth, while in India, domestic travel fell sharply in May compared to April;
* Passenger load factors fell in May after reaching seasonally adjusted record highs in April, while air freight load factors are still above the 2011 year-end lows;
* Weakness in demand and softening load factors will provide offsetting pressure to the benefits of falling fuel prices on airline profits in Q2.

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