IATA Says Business Confidence In Nigeria Has Risen Sharply Over The Past 15 Months, Records Load Factor In February

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced global passenger traffic results for February showing a rebound in traffic growth following the slower demand experienced in January, which was owing to temporary factors including the later timing of the Lunar New Year in 2018.

Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) for the month rose 7.6%, compared to February 2017, up from 4.6% year-over-year growth in January. Monthly capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.3%, and load factor rose 0.9 percentage point to 80.4%, surpassing the previous record for the month of 79.5%, which was set in February 2017.

"As expected, we saw a return to stronger demand growth in February, after the temporary slowdown in January. This is being supported by the robust economic backdrop and solid business confidence. However, increases in fuel prices--and labor costs in some countries--likely will temper the amount of traffic stimulation from lower airfares this year," says Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.

IATA says African airlines experienced a 6.3% rise in traffic for the month compared to the year-ago period. The growth occurred amid an improving regional economic backdrop. Business confidence in Nigeria has risen sharply over the past 15 months while a reduction in political uncertainty in South Africa has contributed to an improvement in business confidence there for the first time in more than a year. Capacity rose 3.3%, and load factor climbed 1.9 percentage points to 67.8%.