The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the global passenger traffic results for February
showing demand growth of 5.4% compared to February 2013.
Although this represented a slowdown compared to the January traffic increase of 8.2%, cumulative traffic growth for the first two months of 2014 was 6.9%, which compares favorably with the 5.2% overall growth achieved in 2013.
February capacity rose 5.2% and load factor climbed 0.2 percentage points to 78.1%. “People are flying. Strong demand is consistent with the pick-up in global economic growth, particularly in advanced economies,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
International passenger traffic rose 5.5% compared to the year-ago period, while capacity saw 5.8% increase and load factor slipped 0.2 percentage points to 76.8%. Overall, domestic markets rose 5.3% in February compared to a year ago. Total domestic capacity was up 4.1% and load factor rose 0.9 percentage points to 80.4%. A double-digit growth was registered in developing economies of Brazil (10.8%), China (12.0%) and Russia (10.5%) in February 2014 as against February 2013.
Talking specifically about the India’s domestic market, IATA stated that traffic fell 1.8% in February compared to February 2013. Subdued consumer sentiment ahead of the upcoming election, as well as elevated fare levels compared to a year ago, are likely exerting downward pressure on demand.
“The strong demand for air travel at a time of rising business and consumer confidence is indicative of the symbiotic relationship between aviation and economic growth. The connectivity provided by aviation both enables and sustains trade and development, while economic activity creates demand for aviation. Governments that treat aviation as if it were a luxury item–or a necessary evil–are depriving their populations of a key engine of growth and job creation,” Tyler added.