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Growth in air travel demand accelerates


European carriers saw demand climb 7.9% in April

Global passenger traffic results show a healthy increase in demand for April, the International Air Transport Association says. Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 7.5% compared to April 2013, and 2.9% from March 2014.

The year-on-year comparison is a little biased by the timing of the Easter holiday, which occurred in April, a month later than in 2013. April capacity increased 5.8%, propelling load factor up 1.2 percentage points to 79.4%.

“April’s demand growth was a pleasant surprise in the face of the moderating trend of recent months, but it is not clear whether the acceleration in demand is sustainable in view of global economic trends including slower growth in China,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

April’s international passenger demand was up 8.5% year-on-year, with airlines in all regions recording growth.

European carriers saw demand climb 7.9% in April versus April 2013. Economic activity in the Eurozone continues to improve, albeit at rates that are below expectations. Capacity rose 5.4% and load factor climbed 1.9 percentage points to 81.4%, the highest for any region.

Asia-Pacific carriers’ traffic rose 6.7% compared to the year-ago period, but capacity rose 7.7% and load factor slipped 0.7 percentage points to 75.7%. North American airlines experienced a 4.9% rise in traffic compared to April a year ago. Capacity there rose 3.3% pushing load factor up 1.2 percentage points to 80.8%.

Middle East carriers’ demand soared 18.6% in April, the strongest growth for any region. Capacity climbed 13.1% and load factor jumped 3.8 percentage points to 80.8%. Latin American traffic rose 8.2% compared to April 2013. Capacity rose 5.2% and load factor climbed 2.2 percentage points to 79.1%. African airlines had the weakest demand growth, with traffic up 3.9% compared to April 2013, while capacity rose 8.1%, resulting in a 2.7 percentage point drop in load factor to 66.2%, the lowest load factor for any region.

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[photo courtesy Swedavia]


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