The International Air Transport Association said Nigeria and other African countries recorded 11.2 percent increase in its global passenger traffic results for March 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.
IATA stated that African airlines continued to enjoy very strong demand as well, adding that the percentage increase was more than twice the five-year average pace of 4.8 percent.
“Airlines here are seeing healthy growth on routes to/from Europe and Asia, while the region’s two largest economies-Nigeria and South Africa-continue to improve. Capacity climbed 6.7 percent, and load factor strengthened 2.9 percentage points to 71.0 percent,” IATA stated in the report.
According to the association, global passenger traffic results for March 2018 showed that demand measured in revenue passenger kilometres rose by 9.5 percent, compared to the same month a year ago, the fastest pace in 12 months.
It added that capacity in terms of available seat kilometres grew by 6.4 percent and load factor climbed by 2.3 percentage points to 82.4 percent, which set a record for the month, following on the record set in February.
IATA said all regions except for the Middle East posted record load factors.
“Demand for air travel remains strong, supported by the comparatively healthy economic backdrop and business confidence levels. But rising cost input-particularly fuel prices-suggests that any demand boosts from lower fares will moderate going into the second quarter,” the IATA Director-General, Alexandre de Juniac, said.
The association noted that March international passenger demand rose by 10.6 percent compared to March 2017, which was up from 7.4 percent year-over-year growth recorded in February, adding that all regions showed strong increases with a total capacity of 6.6 percent, with load factor growing from 2.9 percentage points to 81.5 percent.
According to IATA, domestic demand rose by 7.8 percent in March, which was a slight deceleration from 8.2 per cent growth recorded in February, driven primarily by developments in the US market, while domestic capacity climbed by 6.2 percent, and load factor lifted by 1.3 percentage points to 84.0 percent.
The IATA DG said, “The strong first quarter provides healthy momentum heading into the peak travel period in the Northern Hemisphere. Benign economic conditions are supporting and being supported by good demand for air travel.
“It’s a mutually-beneficial effect that smart governments recognize and encourage, by embracing affordable, quality aviation infrastructure and reasonable commercial regulation. But we need to deliver that message every day. The setback to modernizing air traffic management in the US and a proposal to stop construction of the new airport in Mexico are reminders of that fact.”