The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today announced that January 2010 demand statistics for international scheduled air traffic showed continuing improvement. Compared to the previous year, January passenger demand was up 6.4%. Against this improving demand, a 1.2% increase in passenger capacity in January pushed load factors to 75.9% (up from the 72.2% recorded for January 2009).
International cargo demand showed a 28.3% improvement with only a 3.7% increase in capacity. This pushed the cargo load factor to 49.6% which is a step-change from the 40.1% recorded in January 2009.
The large increases in year-on-year comparisons reflect a steady improvement from the precipitous fall in demand that characterized the early part of 2009 rather than a dramatic improvement in January. Compared to December 2009, and adjusting for seasonal variations, passenger demand grew by 0.5% while air freight volumes increased by 3.0%.
“Demand is moving in the right direction. The 3.0% increase in freight volumes from December to January is particularly encouraging.” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“We are starting to see some encouraging signs in demand, albeit with large differences among the regions.” said Bisignani.
Under the auspices of IATA’s Agenda for Freedom initiative, in November 2009, seven governments (Chile, Malaysia, Panama, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States) and the European Commissions signed a multilateral statement of policy principles focused on liberalization of the air transport industry. Premised on maintaining a level playing field, the policy principles support liberalization of ownership, market access and pricing. Its latest impact can be seen in the recent signing of an open skies bilateral agreement between Panama and Colombia.
“With each open skies bilateral, we take a step in the right direction. Recovering from the years of lost growth as a result of this crisis is a long and hard journey. Governments should not make it any more difficult by maintaining policies that restrict airlines ability to do business,” said Bisignani.