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Oil remains wild card for profitability of airlines

Written by: Staff

London, May 1 (UNI) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported that international passenger traffic recorded a 5.9 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2006 while international freight traffic was up 5.2 per cent over the same period for 2005.

For the month of March, passenger growth dipped to 5.7 per cent while freight surged to a 6.2 per cent improvement over 2005. The slight fall in passenger traffic growth is attributed to the movement of the Easter holiday period from March in 2005 to April in 2006.

''This is the fourth consecutive month with freight growth above five per cent -- the strongest sustained rally for freight traffic in a year. It reflects strong economic prospects in fast developing India and China, a stronger outlook for US economic expansion and improving prospects for Europe,'' said IATA's director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani.

Passenger load factors averaged 74.4 per cent during the first quarter and 75.5 per cent for March, indicating a close matching of capacity to demand.

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