FILE PHOTO: IATA logo is seen at the International Tourism Trade Fair ITB in Berlin

JOHANNESBURG  - African airlines’ July traffic rose 3.6 percent compared with the same month in 2018, a significant slowdown from year-on-year growth of 9.8 percent in June, as weakening business confidence in South Africa offset solid economic conditions elsewhere on the continent, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Friday.

Capacity rose 6.1 percent while load factor slipped 1.7 percentage points to 72.9, IATA said.

The decline in traffic mirrored trends elsewhere in the the world, and African airlines fared better than other regions save for Latin America, which experienced a 4.1 percent rise in traffic in July, although this was also a decline from 5.8 percent year-over-year growth in June. 

"July’s performance marked a soft start to the peak passenger demand season,"  IATA's director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said.

"Tariffs, trade wars, and uncertainty over Brexit (Britain's exit from the European Union) are contributing to a weaker demand environment than we saw in 2018. At the same time the trend of moderate capacity increases is helping to achieve record load factors."

- African News Agency (ANA)