Agents' Choice 2020

CONFIDENCE RISING: Passenger growth accelerates

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for February show that demand growth is accelerating on the back of stronger business confidence, particularly in emerging regions. Passenger demand rose 3.7% compared to February 2012. The 3.7% growth masks improvements in recent months. October 2012 appears to have been a turning point for air travel markets. Since October, passenger demand has been growing at an annualized rate of 9%. This is almost double the growth trend over the first 9 months of 2012. “February’s performance was good news. Demand for air travel continues to rise on economic optimism and improved business confidence. But that comes with a few caveats. Much of the growth is concentrated on emerging markets. Europe continues to be a laggard. And the handling of the banking crisis in Cyprus has reminded all of us that the deep problems in the Eurozone economies still remain,”said IATA director general Tony Tyler. Capacity was up 1% on the previous February and the industry load factor stood at 77.1%. “Airlines are carefully managing capacity expansion, which is keeping the load factor at a record high. This is helping the industry to remain profitable despite persistently high oil prices,”noted Tyler. North American airlines’ international traffic rose just 0.3% in February compared to February 2012, however, this doesn’t reflect the significant underlying growth trend over recent months. International revenue passenger kilometres for North America are up 3% in February compared to October. The load factor rose to 76%, reflecting a 4.6% reduction in capacity year-on-year.

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