According to the latest data from IATA, airlines worldwide experienced a 3.6% increase in passenger traffic last month, led by Latin America (+10.9%), the Middle East (+7.7%) and Europe (+6.4%). The average rate of growth was dragged down however, by North American airlines, which experienced a surprise 1.9% drop in passenger traffic compared to the same month last year.
While Asian airlines did record year-on-year growth, the increased passenger demand was not sufficient to meet the region’s 7.5% expansion of available seat capacity. This caused the region’s average load factor to fall to 75.2%.
In terms of domestic markets, India once again recorded the strongest growth, although the 11.0% year-on-year expansion was considerably lower than last month’s 18.4% expansion. It also failed to match a 16.6% capacity expansion, causing load factors to fall to 73.8%.
Chinese domestic traffic is rebounding, climbing 8.4% in October 2011 with load factors of 83.1%. This marks an increase of eight percentage point compared to three years ago.
Japanese domestic traffic has not yet recovered from the impact of the 11 March disasters. October demand was 10.0% down on previous year levels, and remains 7% below February levels.
“As we enter the year-end period, we are reminded of the vital role that aviation plays in our globalised world. Families and friends will reunite. Holiday gifts will be exchanged across countries and continents. Valuable tourism dollars will be spent in every corner of the planet… Much of this is facilitated by efficient air links that have turned our planet into a global community,” said IATA’s Director-General & CEO, Tony Tyler.