PH international air travel sector grew in ’11

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The country’s international air travel sector grew by nearly a tenth in 2011, outpacing the growth of the global aviation sector, which suffered from economic crises and volatile fuel prices.

Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) released this week showed the number of passengers going in and out of the Philippines growing to 15.65 million passengers, up by 9.6 percent over the previous 12-month period.

Combined with the domestic sector, the country’s total air travel industry grew by 11.57 percent in 2011.

This came despite challenges experienced in the rest of the world, where passenger traffic grew by a modest 6 percent.

“Overall, 2011 was a year of contrasts. Healthy passenger growth, primarily in the first half of the year, was offset by a declining cargo market. Optimism in China contrasted with gloom in Europe. Ironically, the weak euro supported business travel demand,” International Air Travel Association (IATA) CEO Tony Tyler said in a recent statement.

“Improving business confidence is good news, but 2012 is still going to be a tough year,” he said.

For the Philippine market, the expansion in international traffic in 2011 was slower than the 2010 year-on-year growth rate of 12.45 percent, dragged down partly by the dismal performance of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL).

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