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Demand for air travel grows despite economic slowdown

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global traffic results for April 2012 showing that total passenger demand rose 6.1 per cent. Despite continuing economic weakness in some parts of the world, demand for air travel continues to grow. The 6.1 per cent overall growth recorded for April 2012 is above the 20-year trend. Strong demand for air travel with limited capacity expansion pushed load factors to 79.3 per cent which is a record high for an April load factor.

“It’s a volatile and risky world. Airlines are being cautious managing through the uncertainty. The growth in passenger markets is encouraging. But it comes against an environment of continuing high oil prices and growing economic uncertainty. So translating the stronger demand into profits will be difficult,” said Tony Tyler, director general and CEO, IATA.

Asia-Pacific carriers experienced strong growth of 9.3 per cent against a capacity expansion of 4.6 per cent. Load factors stood at 78.1 per cent. The strong performance is exaggerated by the comparison to April 2011 when Asia-Pacific markets were particularly weak in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

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