The International Air Transport Association said Monday that passenger traffic increased 0.5 percent globally in October, the second month of year-over-year increases in a row after 12 months of declines.
“The improvement that started since passenger traffic hit bottom in March is similar to the pace of growth in 2006 and 2007,” IATA said. “Without an exaggerated rebound from pent-up demand, there will be no rapid catch-up to the growth trend established in the 2005 to early-2008 period.”
It noted that “Passenger demand is now 6 percent better than the low point reached in March 2009, but 5 percent below the peak recorded in early 2008.
While international traffic was up worldwide, passenger traffic in North America dropped 2.6 percent compared to October 2008. Like traffic demand globally, North American traffic began showing year-over-year declines in September 2008.
At least the declines are a lot smaller than the 10.1 percent plummet seen in February and 11.1 percent drop in March.
In addition, North American airlines cut their capacity much more than other airlines. The October capacity in North America was off 6.9 percent from a year earlier, compared to a 3.3 percent reduction worldwide.
Here’s what IATA’s Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani had to say about the October numbers:
“The crisis has cost the industry two years of growth. Adjusting costs and capacity to meet that reality will be challenging.”
IATA said that yields, or revenues per passenger per mile, “remain under severe pressure. Although there has been a modest rise in air fares since mid-year, it remains around 20 percent less expensive to fly in real terms today than it was a year ago.”