Air traffic growth slowed by political unrest

Civil unrest in Cairo had ramifications for aviation

Global traffic for February 2011 has shown a year-on-year increase of 6 per cent in passenger demand, although growth was down from the 8.4 per cent expansion recorded in January, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced.

According to IATA, the fall in demand growth can be almost entirely attributed to the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, which cut international traffic by around 1 per cent.

Although IATA director general and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani insists that the aviation industry’s “fundamentals are good”, he acknowledges that “extraordinary circumstances have made the first quarter of 2011 very difficult”.

“Another series of shocks is denting the industry’s recovery from the recession,” Mr Bisignani said.

“As the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia spreads across the Middle East and North Africa, demand growth across the region is taking a step back.”

Mr Bisignani also highlighted recent events in Japan, which he says will “most certainly see a further dampening of demand from March”.

At 73 per cent, February passenger load factors fell by 2.2 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Latin American airlines were the least exposed to February’s volatility, with year-on-year passenger demand increasing by 11.8 per cent, whilst African carriers experienced the only decrease in demand, with traffic falling by 1.3 per cent.

European, North American and Asia-Pacific airlines recorded February traffic increases of 7.4 per cent, 6.7 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
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