Asia Pacific airlines growth rate falls

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New Delhi, Dec 6 (UNI) International passenger traffic slowed down during October with Asia Pacific airlines recording a fall in growth rates, a sign that the airline industry is facing more challenging trading conditions, says International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The growth rates of Asia Pacific airlines declined from seven per cent in September to 5.8 per cent in October this year, partly due to slower growth in semi-conductor shipments, a key industry indicator, IATA said in its latest report.

Freight traffic, measured in freight tonne kilometers, rose 3.6 per cent in October compared with the 5.0 per cent growth recorded in September.

Passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometers, rose 7.7 per cent in October, down from the 8.2 per cent annualised growth recorded in September, with average load factors at 76.5 per cent, said IATA, which represents 240 airlines globally, IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani said the industry faces a challenging fourth quarter with the passenger sector also at risk of a slowdown.

''Air cargo is still expanding, but the industry has shifted gears to a slower pace of growth. Passenger demand remains strong, but this is a cyclical industry. The next months will be critical to see if the impact of the credit crunch spreads from cargo to corporate and leisure travel,'' an IATA release quoted Mr Bisignani as saying.

UNI

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