IATA reports upswing in global passenger and air freight demand in November 2012

10 January 2013 (Last Updated January 10th, 2013 18:30)

Global year-on-year passenger and air freight demand rose 4.6% and 1.6% respectively during November 2012, marking an improvement in air transport demand, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Global year-on-year passenger and air freight demand rose 4.6% and 1.6% respectively during November 2012, marking an improvement in air transport demand, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Passenger demand during the month increased 2.9% compared to October 2012, while air freight volumes increased 1.6% after registering a year-on-year decline of 2.6% during October.

During November, passenger capacity increased 3.2%, while the load factor reached 77.3%, 1% up on November 2011.

IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said that November brought some positive signs for air transport demand, especially for air cargo.

"It is premature to consider this a turning point for air cargo markets in terms of bouncing back and regaining lost ground," Tyler said.

"But, when coupled with positive economic developments in the US and an improvement in business confidence in recent months, the conditions are aligning to see a return to growth in 2013."

The majority of the growth in passenger traffic during the month was supported by domestic markets, mainly China, while the 2.4% rise in air freight over October reflected a shift in seasonal shopping to online retailers that mainly rely on air cargo.

"In 2013 we expect that cargo volumes will grow 1.4%, and passenger traffic will increase by 4.5% worldwide," Tyler said.

"Passenger markets have held up better than cargo in the face of adverse economic conditions. But the current level of air travel is just 2% higher than at the start of 2012. This is considerably weaker than the long-term average growth rate."

"The majority of the growth in passenger traffic during the month was supported by domestic markets, mainly China."

International passenger traffic during November 2012 increased 5.6%, although it rose only 0.2% when October; international capacity reported a 3.1% rise, while load factor stood at 76.3%.

The Latin American region reported the highest demand growth of 11% compared to November 2011, while recording a capacity growth of 9.8% taking the load factor to 76.3%.

Airlines in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe and North America reported November 2012 demand rises of 10.5%, 6.2%, 5%, 4% and 2.6% respectively over the same month in 2011.

November domestic passenger traffic rose in the US, Brazil, Japan and China, while it declined in India when compared to the same month in 2011.