"Stronger passenger, weaker freight," says IATA

"Stronger passenger, weaker freight," says IATA

European carriers met an 8.4% increase in demand over the previous year with a 5.9% increase in capacity, according to September’s latest traffic results. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported that the region’s carriers flew with an average load factor of 82.6%, a figure an encouraging 2% above pre-recession levels. Overall, international passenger traffic had a 10.5% year-on-year increase, which is significantly stronger than the 6.5% rise recorded for August. International freight traffic, however, recorded a 14.8% year-on-year increase, which is significantly weaker than the 19.0% rise recorded in August.According to Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO, the contrast between the performance of freight and passenger markets provides a mixed picture for industry performance. “The industry’s situation is volatile. Passenger traffic represents about three quarters of the industry’s revenues. While September’s passenger growth is reassuring, the accelerating decline of air freight, including in Asia, is an early indicator of some turbulence ahead,” he added.Elsewhere, North American carriers saw their traffic climb back to pre-recession levels during the month, with an 11.1% increase in passenger demand compared to the previous September, and Middle Eastern carriers led the industry growth with an impressive 23.9% increase. However, Bisignani remained cautious about the coming months ahead. “Government actions can impact the sustainability of the recovery,” he added. “Austerity measures will dampen demand. When combined with new or increased taxation, as we have seen in Germany and the UK, the challenges are even greater. Governments must understand that air transport is an economic catalyst. Last year, we saw that a EUR312 million departure tax in the Netherlands cost the Dutch economy EUR1.2 billion. Further taxing the industry makes no sense when the focus of governments should be on making the recovery sustainable.”

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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