Global air traffic showed an improvement in both passenger and air freight demand in November but the current level of air travel remains much weaker than the long-term average, the International Air Transport Association said Wednesday.
The industry body said that air travel in November was 4.6% higher than the same time last year and up 2.9% on October. Air freight volumes were up 1.6% on the year after declining 2.6% in October, year to year.
Passenger capacity also rose by 3.2% compared with November 2011 while airlines carried just 1% more passengers with the load factor edging up to 77.3% year on year.
“November brought some positive signs for air transport demand,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and chief executive. But “the industry’s expected margin in 2013 of 1.3% is very weak. Furthermore, current returns on investment are less than half the industry’s cost of capital, which continues to erode shareholder value,” Mr. Tyler added.
Latin American carriers drove a 5.6% increase in overall international passenger travel with a demand growth of 11% closely followed by demand up 10.5% among Middle East carriers, said IATA.
The strong rebound by air freight markets was driven by Asia-Pacific airlines which were responsible for almost half the rise in total volumes compared with October. On the other hand, European airlines’ year-on-year freight traffic was flat, and capacity grew just 0.3%.
“It is premature to consider this a turning point for air cargo markets but when coupled with positive economic developments in the U.S. and an improvement in business confidence in recent months, the conditions are aligning to see a return to growth in 2013,” said Mr. Tyler.
Source: Dow Jones