At the start of the year, we released an infographic with a breakdown of IATA's passenger forecasts for 2018. This June they released an updated fact sheet with statistics for the airline industry.
A few of the previously recorded numbers were updated due to revisions of historical data. Some of the forecasted numbers have also changed now that we're able to review the first six months of 2018.
You can check out the latest figures in the infographic below. It covers numbers related to passenger traffic, load factor and revenue.
As you can see in the infographic, more people are flying than ever before - IATA reported 265 million more passengers than last year. However, profits are lower - $33.8 billion this year versus $38.0 billion in 2017. To quote IATA:
"The decline in airline margins and ROIC in 2018 is being driven by a rise in breakeven load factors, as unit costs are now rising..."
Despite this, the forecast profits for 2018 will be the fourth-highest ever recorded. Recent changes to industry structure and behavior should help create better margins in the coming years. For example, newer and more fuel-efficient aircraft will replace older fleets.
IATA also made the following predictions for 2018:
- The number of unique city-pair connections will grow to more than 21,000 - this is more than double the number of connections available 20 years ago.
- Tourists traveling by air will spend $794 billion.
- There will be 39 million scheduled aircraft departures. That's an average of 74 aircraft departing each minute.
Here is a recap of the figures:
|Scheduled passengers||4.36 billion||4.09 billion|
|Passenger load factor||81.7%||81.5%|
|Passenger revenues||$590 billion||$534 billion|
|Net profit||$33.8 billion||$38.0 billion|
|Net profit per paying passenger||$7.76||$9.30|
|Passenger traffic growth, RPK||+7.0%||+8.2%|
|Passenger capacity growth, ASK||+6.7%||+0.8%|