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November traffic results show improvement: IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released traffic results for November 2012, showing an improvement in both passenger and air freight demand. Air travel was 4.6% higher compared to November 2011, up on the October result of 2.9%. Air freight volumes edged up 1.6% over the same period after declining 2.6% in October, year to year. Passenger capacity rose 3.2% and load factor improved one percentage point to 77.3% compared to the year-ago period. “November brought some positive signs for air transport demand — particularly for air cargo. It is premature to consider this a turning point for air cargo markets in terms of bouncing back and regaining lost ground. But, when coupled with positive economic developments in the US and an improvement in business confidence in recent months, the conditions are aligning to see a return to growth in 2013.”IATA director general Tony Tyler. “In 2013 we expect that cargo volumes will grow 1.4%, and passenger traffic will increase by 4.5% worldwide.”He added, “Passenger markets have held up better than cargo in the face of adverse economic conditions. But the current level of air travel is just 2% higher than at the start of 2012. This is considerably weaker than the long-term average growth rate.”North American airlines’ demand was up 2.6% compared to November 2011, an improvement on the weak 0.2% growth in October, when Hurricane Sandy impacted international flights across the North Atlantic. Airlines in the region have experienced some of the slower growth rates in international traffic throughout the year, but that is largely a result of tight capacity management rather than particularly weak demand. Capacity climbed 0.4%, pushing load factor up 1.6 percentage points to 79.6%, the highest for any region.

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