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IATA: Passenger demand up 21.5% in February

image credit: Ontario International Airport

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for February 2024 global passenger demand with the following highlights:

Total demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), was up 21.5% compared to February 2023.

Total capacity, measured in available seat kilometers (ASK), was up 18.7% year-on-year. The February load factor was 80.6% (+1.9ppt compared to February 2023).

International demand rose 26.3% compared to February 2023; capacity was up 25.5% year-on-year and the load factor improved to 79.3% (+0.5ppt on February 2023).

Domestic demand rose 15.0% compared to February 2023; capacity was up 9.4% year-on-year and the load factor was 82.6% (+4.0ppt compared to February 2023).

Note that February 2024 was a leap year with one extra day compared to February 2023. This slightly exaggerates growth in both demand and capacity to the positive.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General said: “The strong start to 2024 continued in February with all markets except North America reporting double-digit growth in passenger traffic.

“There is good reason to be optimistic about the industry’s prospects in 2024 as airlines accelerate investments in decarbonization and passenger demand shows resilience in the face of geopolitical and economic uncertainties.

“It is critical that politicians resist the temptation of cash grabs with new taxes that could destabilize this positive trajectory and make travel more expensive.

“In particular, Europe is a worry as it seems determined to lock in its sluggish economic recovery with uncompetitive tax proposals”.