International air passenger demand (particularly China and Latinamerica) and freight showed a strong improvement during June compared to a year ago according to the latest traffic international statistics released by the International Air Transport Association, IATA.
International passenger demand was up 11.9% while international scheduled freight traffic showed a 26.5% improvement, which means the industry is recovering from the impact of the global financial crisis said IATA.
Capacity increased only slightly above demand improvements during the month, keeping load factors in line with historical highs at 79.8% for passenger traffic and 53.8% for freight.
“The industry continues to recover faster than expected, but with sharp regional differences. Europe is recovering at half the speed of Asia with passenger growth of 7.8% compared to the 15.5% growth in Asia-Pacific,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Outside of Europe, all regions reported double-digit growth in passenger traffic. “The question is how long the industry can maintain the double-digit momentum. Business confidence remains high and there is no indication that the recovery will stall any time soon. But, with government stimulus packages tailing off and restocking largely completed, we do expect some slowing over the months ahead,” said Bisignani.
After a dip in April due to the volcanic ash crisis centred in Europe, international passenger demand has returned to its upward growth trend. Passenger volumes are now 1-2% above the pre-recession peak in the first quarter of 2008.
Middle Eastern carriers continue to post the fastest growth—up 18.0% compared to June 2009. This is based on a strong regional economy and the ability to attract long-haul traffic through the region’s hubs.
Asia-Pacific carriers recorded the most significant demand improvement at 15.5%. China continues to be the region’s growth engine.
North American carriers posted growth of 10.8%, comparable to the 10.9% recorded for May 2010. Strong growth and the industry-leading load factor of 86.6% are contributing to strong second quarter financial results being announced by the region’s carriers.
European carriers reported 7.8% growth, down slightly from the 8.3% recorded in May. While annualized growth of 6.2% is in line with the industry average, it is clear that the recovery in Europe is lagging behind the rest of the world.
Latin American carriers showed a 14.7% increase in passenger traffic compared to June 2009. This reflects a more normal growth rate than the 23.6% recorded in May when results were heavily skewed by the Influenza A(H1N1) crisis which centred on the region in May last year.
African carriers posted a 21.3% increase in traffic in June, positively impacted by activities surrounding the FIFA World Cup.
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