Some 130 new aircraft were delivered globally in August; a slight reduction from the 143 delivered in the same period last year, IATA’s latest report has shown.
All told, 43 fewer aircraft were delivered in the first eight months of 2017, compared to the same period a year ago (987 versus 1,030), IATA said in its latest “Airlines financial monitor”.
The number of available seats in the global airline fleet increased by 0.7% in August compared to the previous month. This left the number of seats in service 6.2% higher than in the same month a year ago, the global trade body of airlines said.
Storage activity made another positive contribution to fleet growth: 115 aircraft re-entered service from storage, but just 96 were put into storage (compared to 154 last August).
The turnaround in the long-standing downward trend in passenger yields has continued in August, IATA said.
“As we have noted before, this reflects a number of factors, including a strong demand backdrop, helped by a pick-up in global economic conditions, as well as upward pressure on some key input costs, including labour,” IATA said.
The declines seen in the dollar this year mean that the unadjusted yield series has exaggerated the upward trend in underlying yields. Nonetheless, when measured in constant exchange rate terms, passenger yields in July posted year-on-year growth for the second month in a row (albeit modest, 0.1%).
According to IATA, the “stronger global trade backdrop” has helped to support premium passenger demand growth so far in 2017, particularly on markets to, from and within the key manufacturing region of Asia.
By contrast, premium demand has lagged behind economy in a number of cases, most notably between Europe and the Middle East. Industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) grew by 7.2% year-on-year in August, IATA said, and noted 2017 is on course to be another year of above trend RPK growth.
However, the recent easing in demand drivers suggests that passenger traffic will continue to trend upwards at a more moderate pace into 2018 than what was seen in the recent past.
Meanwhile, global freight volumes posted double-digit annual growth for the fifth time in six months in August (12.1%).
Indicators continue to suggest that that the cyclical upturn in air freight growth may be nearing a peak, IATA added.
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