Demand for air travel has increased: IATA

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Kuala Lumpur, Feb 3 (Bernama) The International AirTransport Association (IATA) has said that demand statisticsof 2010 for international scheduled air traffic and freighthave shown a marked improvement.

Air traffic has shown an 8.2 per cent increase in thepassenger business and there has been a 20.6 per cent increasein frieght.

Demand growth outstripped capacity increases of 4.4per cent for passenger and 8.9 per cent for cargo, IATA saidin a statement here, yesterday.

Average passenger load factor for last year was 78.4per cent, which was a 2.7 percentage improvement from 2009,while a 5.2 percentage point improvement to 53.8 per cent wasrecorded on the freight load factor.

"Compared to the pre-recession levels of early 2008,December air travel volumes were four per cent higher. Airfreight was one per cent higher than pre-recession level.

However, volumes have fallen five per cent since the peak ofthe post-recession inventory re-stocking boom in early 2010,"IATA said.

IATA Director General and Chief Executive Officer,Giovanni Bisignani said airlines ended the year slightly aheadof early 2008 with only 2.7 per cent profit margin.

"After the biggest demand decline in the history ofaviation in 2009, people started to travel and do businessagain in 2010. The challenge is to turn the demand formobility into sustainable profit," he said.

It was estimated that the severe weather in Europe andNorth America in December would shave off one per cent of thetotal traffic demand for the months.

The hardest hit was Europe, which saw Decemberpassenger demand growth slow to 3.3 per cent. (Bernama)

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