The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for February 2024 global passenger demand, with total demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), rising 21.5 percent year-on-year (YoY).

Total capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASK), grew 18.7 percent YoY. The February load factor was 80.6 percent (+1.9ppt compared to February 2023).

International demand rose 26.3 percent compared to February 2023; capacity was up 25.5 percent year-on-year and the load factor improved to 79.3 percent (+0.5ppt on February 2023).

Domestic demand rose 15.0 percent compared to February 2023; capacity was up 9.4 percent year-on-year and the load factor was 82.6 percent (+4.0ppt compared to February 2023).

“The strong start to 2024 continued in February with all markets except North America reporting double-digit growth in passenger traffic. There is good reason to be optimistic about the industry’s prospects in 2024 as airlines accelerate investments in decarbonisation and passenger demand shows resilience in the face of geopolitical and economic uncertainties. It is critical that politicians resist the temptation of cash grabs with new taxes that could destabilise this positive trajectory and make travel more expensive. In particular, Europe is a worry as it seems determined to lock in its sluggish economic recovery with uncompetitive tax proposals,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

In February 2024, international passenger markets globally experienced significant growth compared to the previous year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Asia-Pacific airlines led with a 53.2% increase in demand and the highest load factor. European carriers saw a 15.9% rise in demand, Middle Eastern airlines had a 19.7% increase, North American carriers experienced a 16.0% growth, Latin American airlines saw a 21.0% increase, and African airlines had a 20.7% rise in demand.