Passenger air traffic increased again last year, thanks to low-cost carriers whose market share is growing, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said on Wednesday.
A total of 4.1 billion passengers were transported in 2017 by airlines around the world, an increase of 7.1% over one year after a previous rise of 6%, according to data from the UN agency. specialized in air transport.
The growth of air traffic is benefiting from “the continuous improvement of its safety, security, efficiency and ecological footprint,” said ICAO President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu.
In fact, the year 2017 was the safest year for global air transport since 1946 and the establishment of statistics on aircraft accidents, according to figures published in early January by the Aviation Safety Network.
With a total of ten accidents involving passenger aircraft, which left 44 dead, 2017 “is the safest year ever for both the number of accidents and the number of victims”, according to source recalling that in 2016, there had been a total of 16 accidents for 303 victims.
With 1.2 billion passengers, low-cost airlines have seen their traffic volumes grow faster than the global average.
These companies have captured one third of passenger traffic in Europe, 31% in Asia-Pacific and 26% in North America.
Expressed in revenue per passenger per kilometer (RPK), traffic grew in all regions at a faster pace than in 2016.
“Europe remained the largest international market with 37% of revenues per passenger per kilometer”, an increase of 8.1% year on year thanks to more favorable economic conditions, said ICAO.
Still expressed in RPK, the Latin American market grew 10%, Asia-Pacific 9.6%, Africa 7.6% while in the Middle East the increase is 6.9% and in North America 4.9%.
While average fuel prices jumped 25% year-on-year, they remain significantly below the average of the past decade, following the drop in oil prices in the summer of 2014.
Even with an increase in their fuel bill, the airlines should, according to ICAO, achieve operating results equivalent to 2016 with about 60 billion US dollars (49 billion euros) and an operating margin of 8% of sales.

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