Demand for air travel in the Asia Pacific region picked up pace in September 2013.
According to the latest data from IATA, the region’s airlines experienced an 8.5% rise in international passenger traffic during the month, while cabin load factors increased one percentage point to 78.1%. IATA noted that the growth was supported by an “improvement in China’s third quarter GDP growth”. And this also appears to have bolstered domestic air travel in China, which surged 10.6% in September, with load factors of 80.2%.
Japan’s domestic traffic meanwhile, expanded 7.8%, marking a continuation of recent improvements in the country, driven by a recovering economy.
Globally, passenger traffic increased 5.5% last month, compared to September 2012.
“We are seeing a more positive environment for air travel demand, based on rising business confidence, a strong increase in export orders in September, and better performance of key emerging markets like China,” said IATA’s director-general and CEO, Tony Tyler.
“The strong growth of recent months, coupled with the continuing improvements in air travel demand in September, suggests that there could be a further acceleration in air travel growth before the end of the year,” he added.
The strongest regional growth in terms of international traffic was seen in the Middle East, which climbed 10.4% year-on-year. European carriers’ international traffic increased 3.4%, while North American airlines saw demand rise 2.3%. There was also strong growth in Latin America (+8.3%) and Africa (+6.9%).
In terms of the world’s major domestic markets, India saw the strongest traffic growth in September, jumping 16.4%. This followed an 18.5% improvement in August, although IATA noted that this rising demand could be due to “fare discounting”. US domestic traffic rose 1.4% in September, while Australian internal traffic climbed 2.6%.
“As the global economy continues to recover, aviation is doing its part by supplying the connectivity that drives global trade and commerce. Aviation can do even more if governments see it as an enabler of growth and development, rather than as a source of tax revenues,” Tyler concluded.