The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday said African airlines recorded a 1.1 per cent increase in passenger traffic in April compared to the same period last year.
A statement signed by IATA’s Director General, Mr Alexandre de Juniac, said this was however, down from 1.6 per cent growth in March and was the slowest regional growth since early 2015.
“Like Latin America, Africa is seeing some economic and political uncertainty in the largest markets. Capacity climbed 0.1 per cent and load factor edged up 0.7 percentage point to 72.6 per cent,” he said.
According to him, global passenger traffic results for April 2019 show that demand rose by 4.3 per cent compared to April 2018.
He said April capacity increased by 3.6 per cent, and load factor climbed 0.6 percentage point to 82.8 per cent, which was a record for the month of April.
The 2018 record was 82.2 per cent.
The IATA boss noted that regionally; Africa, Europe and Latin America posted record load factors.
“Comparisons between the two months are distorted owing to the timing of the Easter holiday, which occurred on 1 April in 2018 but fell much later in the month in 2019.
“We experienced solid but not exceptional rising demand for air connectivity in April. This partly is owing to the timing of Easter, but also reflects the slowing global economy.
“Driven by tariffs and trade disputes, global trade is falling, and as a result, we are not seeing traffic growing at the same levels as a year ago.
“However, airlines are doing a very good job of managing aircraft utilisation, leading to record load factors,” de Juniac said.