Emerging markets led global air traffic growth

Business confidence and emerging markets contribute to an increase in passenger numbers.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor on

Global airline passenger demand continued its steady rise, especially in emerging markets.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced today that passenger demand rose 3.7 percent in February compared with February 2012 demand. Since October 2012, the air travel market has seen a major turnaround with passenger demand growing at an annualized rate of 9 percent, double the growth rate in the first nine months of 2012.

"Demand for air travel continues to rise on economic optimism and improved business confidence," said Tony Tyler, IATA Director General and CEO, in a statement. "But that comes with a few caveats. Much of the growth is concentrated on emerging markets. Europe continues to be a laggard. And the handling of the banking crisis in Cyprus has reminded all of us that the deep problems in the Eurozone economies still remain.”

Which region saw the most international passenger growth? The Middle East led the way with 10.6 percent growth in international air traffic from last year, followed by African airlines with 7.7 percent growth and Latin American carriers with 7 percent growth. Asia-Pacific carriers saw 4.5 percent growth while European and North American airlines had slow growth of 0.8 and 0.3 percent, respectively.

China led the way in domestic air traffic growth, with a booming 20.2 percent growth.

IATA represents airlines that handle about 84 percent of global air traffic.

Photo: Stuck in Customs

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