Latin America and Caribbean airlines passenger traffic up 7% in September 2018

Panama, November 12, 2018

Dear readers,

In September, passenger traffic in the region grew by 7% compared to the same month in 2017, positioning as the month with the highest percentage growth so far this year.

The airlines of the region started 14 new routes during the third quarter of 2018: eight international and six domestic, with Orlando being the international destination with more new connections from Lima, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Fortaleza.
As a highlight, Colombia ended the 3-month streak of negative growth with an important increase of 12% in domestic traffic, regarding to September 2017 and, keeping the trend of 2018, the domestic markets of Argentina, Chile and Peru continued to show great dynamism and growth above 10%.

International traffic from the region to the United States showed an important dynamic in September, mainly from Mexico, Panama, Brazil and El Salvador, where the capacity measured in operated flights increased by 12%, 19%, 33% and 41% respectively. We see the future with great optimism since we are close to having the first connection to the Middle East operated by a Latin American airline: LATAM will open its new route between Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv and our region will be even more connected with North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East through local carriers.

In the intra-Latin American international market, three markets stood out: Brazil – Chile with a 14% growth in their capacity or the equivalent to 125 additional flights. Argentina – Peru with 116 additional flights (19% growth) and Colombia – Ecuador with 100 additional flights (19% growth). In the Caribbean, highlighted the increase in capacity between Bonaire and Curaçao with 197 additional flights.

Concerning the fleet, the airlines of the region added 18 new aircraft during the third quarter of 2018: 15 narrow body, one turboprop and two wide body. Our region is becoming more relevant in the international aviation market. Today we represent 8% of global commercial aviation, and the constant growth we have been experiencing in 2018 will undoubtedly consolidate us even more.

I invite you to read the detail of September air traffic growth and send us your comments.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira

The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) announced today that Latin America and Caribbean airlines carried 21.5 million passengers in September, and up 7% (or 1,398,831 additional passengers) from the previous year. Traffic (RPK) grew 9.6% and capacity (ASK) increased 12%, bringing up the load factor to 80.5% (1.7 percentage points lower than in September 2017). (see table 1).


Table 1

Traffic to/from Latin America & Caribbean

Latin America and Caribbean airlines carried 2.2 million passengers to and from Latin America and the Caribbean in September, and up 17.4% from the previous year (see table 2). Traffic (RPK) grew 7.8% and capacity (ASK) increased 11%, bringing the load factor to 81.5%.

To/From Latin America & Caribbean Traffic Distribution

Table 2

Traffic data from the following airlines is included in this report: Aerolíneas Argentinas (includes Austral), Aeromar, Aeromexico, Aeromexico Connect, Avianca Holdings, Avianca Brasil, Azul Airlines, Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia, Flybondi, Interjet, Jetsmart, LATAM Airlines Group, Sky Airline, VivaAerobus, VivaColombia and Volaris.

Glossary RPK (Revenue Passenger Kilometers) number of passengers carried times the distance traveled | ASK (Available Seat Kilometers) number of seats available for sale times the distance traveled | PLF Passenger Load Factor, obtained by dividing the RPKs by the ASKs | FTK (Freight Ton Kilometers) number of tons of freight carried times the distance traveled