Solid Demand For Air Travel Continues


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports global passenger traffic results for February showing demand growth of 5.4% compared to February 2013.

Although this represented a slowdown compared to the January traffic increase of 8.2%, cumulative traffic growth for the first two months of 2014 was 6.9%, which compares favourably with the 5.2% overall growth achieved in 2013.

February capacity rose 5.2% and load factor climbed 0.2 percentage points to 78.1%. All regions except Africa experienced positive traffic growth.

“People are flying. Strong demand is consistent with the pick-up in global economic growth, particularly in advanced economies,” said IATA director general Tony Tyler.

North American airlines saw demand rise 2% in February over a year ago, a slowdown on the January growth rate (3.7%). The demand backdrop in the region is showing signs of improvement, signaling that air travel should continue to expand in coming months. Capacity rose 2.6%, pushing down load factor half a percentage point to 75.9%.

“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,” added Tyler. “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.”