Global air traffic grows 3.2 percent in April—IATA

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CAPE TOWN—Global air-passenger traffic grew by 3.2 percent in April, compared to a year ago, driven by travel in emerging markets, the global airline industry body said on Thursday.

“We see strong growth among African, Asia-Pacific, Middle Eastern and Latin American airlines,” International Air Transport Association chief Tony Tyler told journalists in Cape Town.

Middle Eastern airlines were the strongest performers, growing by 10 percent, followed by Asia-Pacific at 4.7 percent and Africa at 4.6 percent. Latin America grew by 2.8 percent.

Growth was more modest in Europe where demand increased by 2.2 percent.  The North American market rose 0.6 percent.

The seasonally adjusted rate for April was nearly five percent, the airline industry body said.

Marginally ahead of demand, capacity was up 4.4 percent from last April, pushing the load factor downward by 0.9 percent to 78.1 percent.

If adjusted for seasonality, this remained at near record highs of 80 percent.

The international flight market was up 3 percent in April from the year before, while capacity grew 4.3 percent.

North America was the only region to contract, shrinking by 0.5 percent, while the Middle East topped international demand with a rise of 10.9 percent.

Africa was the second-best performing region with traffic rising by 4.7 percent from the figure for April last year.

Domestic demand was up 3.5 percent, fueled by China, with other markets shrinking apart from Australia.

IATA will hold its annual AGM next week in Cape Town.

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