Global passenger traffic up in February
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said global passenger traffic in February rose 5.4 percent from a year ago, led by European and Middle East carriers, as economic recovery in developed countries gained pace.
IATA, which noted the February’s results was slower than the previous month’s 8.2 percent growth, said gains in the first two months of 2014 still came in at 6.2 percent. This compares with 5.2 percent for the full-year 2013.
“People are flying. Strong demand is consistent with the pick-up in global economic growth, particularly in advanced economies,” Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said in a statement.
IATA said February capacity rose 5.2 percent and load factor, which measures flight occupancy, climbed 0.2 percentage points to 78.1 percent.
All regions except Africa experienced positive growth.
“The strong demand for air travel at a time of rising business and consumer confidence is indicative of the symbiotic relationship between aviation and economic growth,” Tyler added.
“The connectivity provided by aviation both enables and sustains trade and development, while economic activity creates demand for aviation.
Governments that treat aviation as if it were a luxury item —or a necessary evil—are depriving their populations of a key engine of growth and job creation,” he said.
IATA said international traffic was up 5.5 percent in February, boosted by a 5.8 percent capacity increase.
Middle East carriers grew passenger traffic by 13.4 percent in February as airlines benefited from the strength of regional economies.
“The Gulf nations in particular are enjoying acceleration in non-oil sectors of their economies, supporting demand for air travel,” IATA said.
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