IATA represents some 275 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic.
That's according to research by IATA, the International Air Transport Association.
However, IATA said it was not concerned there was a pilot shortage after high-profile cancellations at Ryanair and American Airlines due to rostering issues and after some US airlines awarded high pay increases to pilots this year. "2018 is expected to be the fourth consecutive year of sustainable profits with a return on invested capital (9.4 per cent) exceeding the industry's average cost of capital (7.4 per cent)", IATA said in its "State of the Industry and Global Economic Outlook" report. Demand to and from North America fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month in September (the most recent month for which route-specific figures are available) and it remains the only global market not to have grown in annual terms this year.
In October, domestic air traffic in India grew by 20.4 percent, while it grew by 10 percent in China, 7.7 percent in Brazil, 6.1 percent in Russian Federation, 5.3 percent in the USA, 2.8 percent in Australia, and 2.3 percent in Japan.
Globally, passenger traffic demand rose 7.2 percent compared to the same month a year ago, while capacity grew 6.2 percent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 percent. Overall revenues are seen rising 9.4% y-o-y to US$824 billion in 2018.
Asia-Pacific airlines had the highest traffic growth compared to 2016 at 10.3 percent.
Despite the rise in passenger and cargo numbers, the rate of growth for both will be lower in 2018 then 2017, IATA said. "It's still, however, a tough business and we are being challenged on the cost front by rising fuel, labour and infrastructure expenses", he told a media briefing here yesterday. De Juniac also cited potential government interference in aviation practices as a factor in the coming year.
Longer-term challenges, that de Juniac blamed on governments, are global security standards, tax levels, regulation and infrastructure.
After declining for six years in a row, passenger yields, a measure of ticket pricing, are also expected to rise 3 percent next year after falling 1.5 per cent in 2017. Turning to environmental concerns, IATA, which said the inflation-adjusted cost of flying had halved for consumers since 1996, said aviation was committed to managing its carbon footprint with a near-term goal of capping emissions through carbon-neutral growth from 2020.