By Ed Attwood
Passenger traffic slips slightly in comparison to September, still above global average
Regional carriers saw passenger traffic rise by 18 percent last month, slightly below the 23.9 percent increase recorded in September, the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s latest data show.
Once again, the Middle East was the fastest-growing region, outstripping both the global average of 10.1 percent growth and local capacity expansion of 13.7 percent.
The Middle East has a 10.7 percent share of the international passenger market.
Elsewhere, African carriers posted the next strongest growth with 13.3 percent, followed by North America (12.4 percent), Europe (9.6 percent), Asia Pacific (7.3 percent), and Latin America (4.9 percent).
International passenger demand is now five percent above the pre-crisis levels of early 2008.
On the cargo side, the Middle East was again the best performer, with 22.7 percent growth last month against the same period last year. Worldwide, freight demand rose by an average of 14.4 percent.
Again, the region’s figure was slightly lower than the increase recorded in September, at 24.0 percent.
Elsewhere, Asia Pacific airlines reported a 14.9 percent rise in demand, followed by North America (12.2 percent) and Europe (12.1 percent).
“We are ending 2010 in much better shape than we were just 12 months ago. Airlines have turned losses into profit—albeit tiny,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA director general and CEO.
“Despite the economic uncertainties people continue to fly. Airlines appear to be managing capacity in the upturn with a good deal of prudence. And cost control continues to be a main theme for airlines everywhere.”