Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for March showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 5.3%, compared to the same month last year. Capacity grew slightly faster at 5.9% which pushed the average load factor down by half a percentage point to 79.6%.
March performance shows a moderate slowdown on the year-on-year growth rates recorded in January (7.2%) and February (8.6%) even after adjusting for the leap-year impact in February. Demand for international traffic grew significantly more quickly (6.2%) than that for domestic travel (3.7%).
"While in line with long-term trends, demand growth in March represented a slow-down compared to January and February. It is premature to say whether this marks the end of the recent very strong results. We do expect further stimulus in the form of network expansion and declines in travel costs. However, the wider economic backdrop remains subdued," said Tony Tyler, IATA's Director General and CEO.
International Passenger Markets
March international passenger demand rose 6.2% compared to March 2015, which was a decline compared to the 9.1% increase in February. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity climbed 6.9%, causing load factor to slip 0.5% percentage points to 78.5%.
Asia-Pacific airlines' traffic rose 6% in March compared to the year-ago period; however, capacity increased 7.8%, which caused load factor to slide 1.3 percentage points to 77.4%. Key routes within Asia, across the Pacific and to the Middle East grew strongly in the opening months, although Asia to Europe routes lagged behind.
European carriers saw March demand climb 5.5% over March 2015. Capacity rose 5.4% and load factor edged up 0.1 percentage points to 80.8%, highest among regions. The largest routes, including between the UK and Germany, and to and from Spain, have seen strong growth this year. It is too soon to know how the terrorist attacks in Brussels will affect demand.
Middle East carriers experienced a 12% rise in demand in March, which was the largest increase among regions. Capacity increased 13.6%, however, and load factor dropped 1.1 percentage points to 76.5%.
North American airlines' traffic climbed 0.7% in March compared to the year-ago period, the slowest pace since April 2013. Carriers here have been concentrating their efforts on the larger and stronger domestic markets. Capacity rose just 0.6% and load factor was flat at 80.5%.
Latin American airlines had a 7.9% increase in traffic in March, down from a 10.4% increase in February, suggesting the upward trend in business-related international demand has softened. Capacity climbed 6.3%, causing load factor to surge 1.2 percentage points to 78.5%.
African airlines continued to enjoy strong demand, with traffic up 11.2% compared to March 2015. The turnaround after several difficult years coincides with expansion of long-haul networks by the region's carriers. Capacity rose 9.7%, and load factor strengthened to 66.6%, up 0.9 percentage points. Domestic Passenger Markets
Domestic demand rose 3.7% in March compared to March 2015, a dramatic slowdown from the leap year-aided 7.8% growth recorded in February. This was driven primarily by performance in the two largest markets, the US--which accounts for two of every five domestic passengers--and China. Domestic capacity climbed 4.3%, and load factor retreated 0.4 percentage points to 81.6%.
Brazil's domestic market plunged by 8.3% year-on-year in March, the biggest contraction in more than 12 years.
Russian traffic has bounced back from its November low point following the shutdown of Transaero, while load factor soared 6.3% percentage points to 75% on a 4.8% decline in capacity. The Bottom line
"In just under a month Dublin will become the focus of the global air transport industry, when the 72nd IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit takes place there, 1-3 June. Europe is the world's largest international market in terms of traffic flown by its carriers. And aviation supports 12 million European jobs and 4.1% of the continent's GDP. But aviation could do much more if governments would address the triple whammy of high taxes, overly-complex and punitive regulations, and inadequate and inefficient infrastructure. Making Europe an easier place to do business will help aviation deliver even greater benefits to the economy," said Tyler.
Posted by: just4airlines.com at 0142h UTC May 06, 2016
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) today announced the start of its award-winning service to Nashville International Airport (BNA). The airline's inaugural flight departed for the Tennessee state capital just after 7 a.m. JetBlue will operate two daily roundtrips from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and one daily roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
"With its great mix of business and leisure travelers, and the city's extensive list of landmarks and events, Nashville is a perfect fit for the growing JetBlue network," said John Checketts, director route planning at JetBlue. "With daily nonstop flights to two of our fastest growing focus cities, customers will benefit from a long list of convenient and affordable travel choices whether flying to or from ‘Music City.'"
With attractions like the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame, frequent festivals and events, more than 120 live music venues and a growing food and arts scene, Nashville is regularly ranked as a top U.S. destination for travelers. The city is also home to one of the most diverse and fastest-growing economies in the region, with Nashville International Airport handling more than 11 million travelers annually.
"JetBlue is known around the world for its unique brand and keen focus on customer service," said Rob Wigington, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority president and CEO. "We are delighted to welcome them to Nashville International Airport and introduce their service to Boston and Fort Lauderdale. The Airport Authority is working constantly to bring more nonstop service and new destinations to Nashville and Middle Tennessee to better serve our growing region and visitors."
"Adding new service in this day and time is a huge statement. Adding new service with a new carrier is a home run," said Butch Spyridon, President and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. "JetBlue is a tremendous addition on many levels. We are honored to be included among their destinations."
JetBlue announced plans to fly to Nashville in 2015 and it is a key destination as the airline grows nonstop destinations and daily flights in both its Boston and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood focus cities. In Boston the airline will reach 140 daily flights this month and is on track to surpass 150 daily flights next year. New nonstop service includes six-times daily flights to New York City's LaGuardia Airport which was just announced last week. In Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood JetBlue recently announced plans to operate up to 140 daily flights to nearly 50 destinations including 20 in Latin America and the Caribbean. JetBlue is the top airline by customers and flights in both cities.
Source: JetBlue Airways
Posted by: just4airlines.com at 0141h UTC May 06, 2016
"Day after day we strive to extend Volaris' connectivity and services to benefit our customers and maintain our positioning as the Mexican airline with the widest presence in the US," said Holger Blankenstein, Chief Commercial Officer of Volaris. "The new Austin-Guadalajara route improves our presence in the Texas market adding to San Antonio, Houston and Dallas that we already operate."
"This announcement that Volaris will provide nonstop service from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to Austin is good news. The home of mariachi is now connected to the Live Music Capital of the World," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
"The new flight will connect two of the most vibrant start-up scenes and technology hubs in North America," said the Consul General of Mexico in Austin, Carlos González Gutiérrez.
The service will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Flights will depart Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) at 1:20 p.m., and arrive at Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) at 3:28 p.m. Flights will depart Guadalajara at 9:33 a.m., arriving in Austin 11:50 a.m. Flights are operated on 179 seat, A-320 aircraft.
"More nonstop flights expand our economic potential and open up opportunities for exchange," said Doug Driskill, Dell Executive and Chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce's Air Service Task Force. "Austin understands the importance of international air service in today's global economy and the critical need for connectivity to Mexico, Texas' most important trading partner. Guadalajara is Latin America's Silicon Valley, a magnet for tech entrepreneurs and home to some of the world's top electronics and semiconductor manufacturers. I'm thrilled to welcome Volaris to Austin."
"Mexico represents a vital part of the international inbound travel to Austin," said Julie Chase Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Like Austin, Guadalajara is an important tech hub that is also rich in arts and culture and we trust this new air route will help to increase tourism opportunities between our two cities. This new non-stop service on Volaris will ultimately mean more visitors and significantly more spending for our city, our hotels, restaurants, attractions and retailers."
The airport of choice for Central Texas, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), welcomes new carrier Volaris and nonstop service to Guadalajara, Mexico. Fly to more new international nonstop destinations including Frankfurt, Germany on Condor Airlines, www.condor.com. Austin-Bergstrom extends a thank you to its airport partners and its 11.9 million passengers in 2015.
Source: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Posted by: just4airlines.com at 0139h UTC May 06, 2016
Prior to the launch of their new twice weekly services from London Gatwick to Chongqing and Tianjin, expanding Chinese carrier, Tianjin Airlines, has appointed airlines sales specialists Flight Directors as their General Sales Agent (GSA) for the UK market.
From June 25th, the new service will operate every Wednesday and Saturday on a new Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 18 business class seats and 242 economy class seats. Flight Directors will be responsible for launching this exciting new airline and route to the UK travel trade through personal visits, promotional activities, sales campaigns and fam trips.
The UK General Manager for Tianjin Airlines, Robert Chen, said: "We are delighted to appoint Flight Directors as our GSA for the UK. Their strong expertise in developing strong relationships with all parts of the UK travel industry will be invaluable for the launch of our first ever UK route as well as future increase in frequency of the service. Our long haul fleet is expanding to four A330s later this year, as we acquire three brand new aircraft direct from Airbus, and we are also growing our bases across China to increase interline opportunities through Chongqing and Tianjin. We look forward to welcoming many UK originating passengers on board Tianjin Airlines flights, where we are sure that our quality onboard service will provide them with the best possible start to their trip to China."
Paul Argyle, Managing Director of Flight Directors, said: "We are proud to be representing Tianjin Airlines. As well as showcasing an amazing airline, with a total fleet of over 90 aircraft, this also gives us the opportunity to promote two great cities: Chongqing, the world's largest city conurbation where travellers can visit the stunning Yangtze River; and Tianjin, the historic port and gateway to Beijing."
A limited number of promotional fares will be available to celebrate the UK launch, with return prices starting from £404. However, Tianjin Airlines is committed to offering low prices - both one way and return - on both routes throughout the summer. Tianjin Airlines will be distributed through all major Global Distribution Systems (GDS) using BSP. Bookings are already available through Sabre and through the remaining GDSs from mid- May.
Tianjin Airlines is part of the Hainan Airlines Group and currently operates a fleet of over 90 aircrafts to more than 100 destinations throughout China from its hub destinations, which include: Dalian, Guiyang, Haikou, Nanning, Sanya, Tianjin, Urumqi, Hohhhot and Xi'an. Also from May 16th, Tianjin Airlines will also operate a new daily flight from Chongqing to Phuket, the popular resort destination in Thailand.
Posted by: just4airlines.com at 0138h UTC May 06, 2016