The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced traffic results for April which showed a rebound in international markets with 16.5% growth compared to April 2010. While this is exaggerated by the comparison to April 2010 during which European airspace was closed due to the volcanic ash crisis, international travel markets in April had grown to reach a level 7% higher than the pre-recession peak of early 2008.
Domestic markets showed overall a 4.7% growth over the previous year, outgrowing an increase in overall capacity of 3.1%. This resulted in a 78.8% of available seats being filled by passengers.
Overall, passenger traffic grew by 11.9%, outpacing an 11.5% increase in the number of seats available resulting in an average of 77.4% of those seats being filled by passengers. Air-freight demand grew by 3.3% compared to the same time period last year.
“Demand improved significantly in April. Eliminating all distortions, we are growing at 3-4%. International traffic is now 7% above the early 2008 pre-recession levels, load factors are hovering around 77% and business confidence is high.” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
The United States specifically reported growth of 1.2%. The US domestic market (which represents about half of global domestic travel) has affected the growth in average overall domestic travel. The United States Market is also a very price sensitive market that has been affected by rises in jet fuel costs this year.