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IATA: Demand for air travel continues to grow despite economic weakness

31-May-2012 10:09 AM

IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said (30-May-2012) despite continuing economic weakness in some parts of the world, demand for air travel continues to grow. The growth in airline passenger markets is "encouraging", but Mr Tyler warned it comes against an environment of continuing high oil prices and growing economic uncertainty. He added that translating the stronger demand into profits will be difficult for airlines. IATA reported the following regional traffic trends for Apr-2012: 

  • Europe: Growth below international trend, but demand is stronger than the expansion in capacity;
  • Asia Pacific: Strong traffic growth compared to the increase in capacity. The strong performance is exaggerated by the comparison to Apr-2011 when Asia Pacific markets were particularly weak in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami;
  • North America: Weakest passenger demand growth of any region globally. Travel trend in North American travel is still positive since the end of 2011, as US economic conditions and particularly consumer confidence has improved. North American carriers were also the only region to cut capacity and carriers continue to improve already strong load factors;
  • Middle East: Airlines traffic growth has started to pick up pace again, with demand expanding faster than capacity;
  • Latin America: Despite some potential for economic slowdown, growth has been solid enough in the region’s economies to sustain strong demand for passenger travel. Growth is outpaced the expansion in capacity, bucking expectations of a slowdown in the region due to weakening economic conditions;
  • Africa: Only region where capacity expanded more quickly than demand. Load factors were the weakest of all global regions.  [more – original PR]