May 2024: Passenger Demand Climbs 10.7% – IATA

Strong growth on Asia-Middle East routes (+32% vs 2019); Africa leads in load factor increase.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports continued growth in global air travel, with total passenger demand in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rising by 10.7%  in May 2024 compared to the same month last year.

IATA reports that Africa had the fastest increase in load factor among all regions, although Africa still has the lowest load factor overall.


  • Total passenger demand (RPKs) up 10.7% year-on-year.
  • Total capacity (ASKs) increased by 8.5% compared to May 2023.
  • Load factor reached 83.4% (+1.7ppt compared to May 2023), a record high for May.

Middle East & Africa Regions (MEA)

Middle East:

  • Demand increased by 9.7% year-on-year.
  • Capacity growth outpaced demand with a 13.9% increase.
  • Load factor remained steady at around 80.7% (0.5 percentage points) compared to May 2023. IATA notes the Middle East region also sees strong growth on routes from Asia (up some 32% compared to 2019) and Europe (showing a two-year trend reversal of increasing April-May traffic). The impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on these trends remains to be seen.


  • Passenger demand rose by 14.1% compared to May 2023.
  • Capacity increased by 8.2% year-on-year.
  • Load factor rose to 72.3% (+3.7 percentage points),marking the fastest increase among all regions. Despite this growth, Africa still has the lowest overall load factor.