AIR PASSENGER GROWTH SHOWS CONTINUING STRENGTH
GENEVA - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says global passenger traffic results for March show strong demand growth led by emerging markets, with all regions showing gains. Total traffic rose 5.9% compared to March 2012. Part of the rise may be attributed to traffic related to the Easter holiday, but the seasonally-adjusted trend continues to show strong growth, with demand expanding at an 8% annualised rate in the six months since October 2012. Capacity rose 3.5% compared to the year-ago period, pushing up load factor 1.8 percentage points to 80.3%.
“Strong demand for air travel is consistent with improving business conditions. Performance, however, has been uneven. Mature markets are seeing relatively little growth while emerging markets continue to show a robust expansion,” said Tony Tyler, IATA Director General and CEO. China’s domestic market surged 16.6% in March, the highest for any region. Capacity climbed 12.4% and the load factor was 83.6%, second-highest among the regions. Indian domestic traffic spiked 7% compared to a year ago, the second strongest performance. IATA says a reduction in fares by several airlines serving the Indian domestic market is the likely cause of the demand boost. Capacity rose 1.9% and the load factor by 3.6% to 76.0% (ATI).