IATA’s latest report called out North American airlines, who saw traffic increase by 4.8% in May year-on-year. This is lower than the 10.3% annual growth in April but still ahead of the 5-year average growth rate for the region.
IATA expects healthy regional economic conditions and a strong US dollar to support international air travel demand, although the stronger U.S. dollar may discourage some inbound travel. Load factor in the region rose by 0.5 percentage points to 80.5%.
The draw of Europe certainly appears to be holding up, according to IATA. Indeed, routes between North America and Europe experienced a Route Per Kilometre (RPK) growth rate of around 4% year-on-year to April, while also representing around 7% of the total global share of revenue (per kilometre), making it the third largest share among international route groupings. It’s likely that the dollar’s relative strength against Sterling and the Euro has been part of the draw for U.S. travellers.
Skyscanner data for the past twelve months confirms that London is a sure bet overall for U.S. travellers, as the most popular O&D in the region as of July, 2017. This will come as little surprise but may be of use to note for the handful of carriers now beginning to offer low-cost transatlantic options.
Those airlines planning for future opportunities in Europe will also be interested to see that Venice, Italy, comes in first as the fastest growing international destination from the United States’ (and the world’s) largest airport: Atlanta. This trend will be pleasing for US based carrier Delta who launched a direct flight from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Venice only two years ago.