International Air Transport Association Reports Strong January Traffic Growth

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported recently that air traffic results for January internationally showed an 8.2% increase in passenger traffic and 9.1% increase in air freight compared to January 2010.

“We begin the year with some good news. January traffic volumes are up—8.2% on January 2010 and 2.6% on December. With most major indices pointing to strengthening world trade and economic growth, this is positive for the industry’s prospects.” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Passenger air travel volumes for January 2011 increased by 18% compared to the lowest levels reached in early 2009. This new level of air travel is also some 6% above the pre-recession peak of early 2008. Air freight levels in January of 2011 was 39% above the lowest point reached at the end of 2009 and some 6% above the pre-recession peak of early 2008.

    North American carriers flying passengers recorded an 8.7% year-on-year increase in demand and a 10.0% increase in capacity in January of 2011. International passenger traffic carried by North American airlines has now recovered to 2% above its pre-recession peak of early 2008.

    North American carriers flying freight recorded an increase of 14.1% in January compared to levels a year ago, the highest of any region. The volume of traffic has grown by 11% since November last year, and now sits 10% above the pre-recession peak.

    Europe’s carriers recorded a 7.9% year-on-year growth in passenger traffic and an 8.8% increase in capacity.

    Asia-Pacific carriers recorded a 5.8% year-on-year demand increase in January, more than double the 2.8% increase recorded in December.

    Latin American carriers recorded an 11.0% growth in demand and a 12.4% growth in capacity.

    International air freight volumes expanded at a robust 9.1% in January after a revised 7.3% in December and 6.9% in November.

IATA’s forecast for 2011 was made in December 2010 and anticipates an industry profit of $9.1 billion or a 1.5% net profit margin on $598 billion in revenues. IATA will revise this forecast on 2 March.