Australia’s domestic carriers continue to exhibit caution on capacity growth amid soft consumer demand and the downturn in mining-related activity, latest figures show.
The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) monthly traffic figures show local airlines grew capacity by 1.7 per cent in the 11 months to November, as measured by available seat kilometres (ASK).
Moreover, in the month of November domestic ASKs fell by 2.1 per cent, compared with the the prior corresponding period.
The IATA figures show Australia was the only one of the seven domestic markets measured by IATA to have reduced capacity in November.
“Australia’s domestic demand was virtually flat year-over year and traffic volumes have largely remained stagnant since mid-2013,” IATA said in a statement.
“The economy is struggling to rebalance away from mining investment-led growth.”
Meanwhile, on the international front, IATA said global passenger numbers measured by revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rose six per cent in November, compared to the same month a year ago.
The growth was largely due to strong growth in the Chinese domestic market, where airlines grew RPKs 15.4 per cent in the month.
India’s domestic market also recorded double-digit growth, with RPKs up 14.2 per cent in the month on a 2.4 per cent capacity increase.
However, IATA chief executive Tony Tyler said the overall picture was mixed in November, given moderate growth figures for the broader Asia-Pacific region and North America, as well as declining passenger traffic in Africa.
“Strong traffic performance within China and India has not carried over into international demand for Asia-Pacific carriers,” Tyler said in a statement on January 9.
“And while lower oil prices should be positive for economic activity, softening business confidence is having a dampening effect on international travel.”
About 250 of the world’s airlines are members of IATA, representing 84 of global air traffic.