Home » Aviation » IATA: Cargo, passenger traffic improve in November

THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) posted higher traffic in both cargo and passage sector in November but the figure continues to be below peak levels in 2008.

IATA attributed the increase in cargo and passage traffic to increasing demand mostly connected to Asia-Pacific markets.

Latest data released by IATA showed that freight demand posted a 9.5% increase while passage demand registered a 2.1% hike compared to their year-ago levels.

Freight load factors stood at 56.6% while passenger load factors were at 75.4%.

Compared to the peak levels in 2008, freight demand was 20% better than the low point in December 2008, but still 10% below the peak levels seen in early 2008.

Passenger demand was 6.4% better than the low point reached in the first quarter of 2009, but still 6% below the peak levels seen in early 2008.

“Demand continues to improve, but we still have a lot of ground still to recover,” according to IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani.

“We cannot anticipate any significant improvement in yields in the coming months. So, conserving cash, controlling costs and carefully matching capacity to demand remain at the keys to survival,” he said.

The bulk of air freight markets connect Asia. The 14.5% growth in freight demand for Asia-Pacific’s carriers is linked to the success of stimulus packages in driving industrial output and broader economic recovery within the region.

Carriers in other regions also saw strong growth in freight wherein Africa posted a 8.1% increase, Latin America (+17.5%), Middle East (+21.4%) and North America (+13.6%).

European carriers were the only group to post a drop in traffic, recording a 5.6% fall in demand. This reflects the lingering economic malaise in the region.

In the passage business, demand growth was recorded by carriers from Asia-Pacific (+5.1%), Latin America (+8.2%) and the Middle East (+16.5%).

Asian traffic growth is driven most directly by economic recovery (with the exception of Japan).

Asian economic growth is fuelling strong demand for commodities in both Latin America and Africa.

While Latin American carriers are benefiting with business growth, a 2.1% fall in African traffic indicates a loss in market share. Middle East growth of 16.5% can also be related to the strength of Asia and the ability of Middle East carriers to facilitate connection traffic to the region through Middle Eastern hubs.

European and North American carriers both experienced a 3% fall in November traffic. Unemployment concerns continue to negatively impact consumer confidence in both markets. Compared to last November, European carriers have cut capacity by 3.9% and North American carriers by 6.7%.

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