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IATA Airlines Financial Monitor – August 2017

According to IATA Airlines Financial Monitor for August 2017, passenger and freight volumes both posted robust year-on-year growth rates in July. The seasonally-adjusted passenger load factor remained close to an all-time high, although the freight load factor has fallen back slightly in SA terms in recent months.

Key points:

  • The latest airline financial results indicate that the squeeze on profit margins from higher costs and weak yields continued into Q2 2017, although the pressure on margins has eased from that seen in Q1. Moreover, the sample total masks a wide spread in performance at a regional level, with Europe in particular improving strongly.
  • Industry-wide passenger yields in June were slightly higher than a year ago (0.1%); even so, this was the fastest annual pace since late-2013. Passenger yields have continued to trend higher in recent months, albeit modestly.
  • Global airline share prices fell in August for the second month in a row. The decline was driven by a fall in North America, partly reflecting the impact of Hurricane Harvey, but European and Asia Pacific airline shares rose solidly.
  • The hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico also caused some volatility in oil prices during August. Nonetheless, the Brent oil price ended the month broadly in line with where it started it (~US$52/bbl).
  • Passenger and freight volumes both posted robust year-on-year growth rates in July. The seasonally-adjusted passenger load factor remained close to an all-time high, although the freight load factor has fallen back slightly in SA terms in recent months.
  • The stronger global trade backdrop is helping to support premium passenger demand, particularly to, from and within Asia. Premium’s share of industry-wide revenues increased to 27.0% in H1 2017, from 26.5% a year ago.

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