Despite the fact that air traffic grew in September, it marked its slowest increased compared to the previous seven months. According to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) report this is primarily due to the two hurricanes and other adverse weather conditions that affected the Americas and made travelers revise their plans.
IATA reported total a revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) increase of 5.7% in September compared to September 2016. This, however, is the slowest year-on-year increase since February. The decline was caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and their effect on air operations. The report also predicts significant ongoing impacts on passenger traffic to and from the most affected Caribbean islands.
The fact that the major US airports had since resumed normal operations is positive and suggests that the industry-wide impact would not be long-lasting.
Another country that was affected by adverse weather was Japan, where Typhoon Talim caused the largest month-on-month decline in RPKs in the country in more than six years.
The report also reveals that available seat kilometers (ASKs) rose by 5.3%, which means that capacity has grown as well. IATA reveals that demand grows faster and airlines around the world mark its fastest growth in more than a decade for the first half of 2017.
All regions reported growth with those in the Asia-Pacific region leading the ranks with 8.7% increase in RPKs in September. North America occupies the last place for this indicator with RPK growth of only 0.4%. Australian domestic market also experienced decline in September and some airlines had to cut capacity.
IATA’s report also points out that the additional security measures imposed to those traveling to the US also contributed to the decline of inbound traffic in the country.