GENEVA – Global air passenger traffic for March showed that demand rose 9.5 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, the fastest pace in 12 months, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in Geneva on Thursday (3/5/2018 ).
“Demand for air travel remains strong, supported by a relatively healthy economic background and level of business confidence,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA.
Nevertheless, he cautioned that rising input costs, particularly fuel prices, suggest that in the second quarter any increase in demand from lower tariffs will moderate.
International passenger demand in March rose 10.6 percent compared with March 2017 and all regions showed strong gains.
Asia-Pacific airline traffic jumped 11.6 percent in March, compared with the same month last year.
Middle East carrier traffic jumped 10.7 percent in March, considerably increasing from 4.1 percent year-on-year recorded in February. It reflects healthy growth in markets between the Middle East and Asia.
European carriers saw March traffic rise 9.8 percent over the same month last year, up from 6.9 percent annual growth in February.
“Business confidence in the region’s most open countries has been hit by trade tensions in recent months, but broad economic conditions remain supportive,” IATA said.
Like the Asia-Pacific region, demand is also stimulated by an increase in the number of airports operating non-stop.
North American carriers posted a 9.5 percent increase in traffic year-on-year in March, well above the 5-year average growth rate of 3.6 percent.
“The weakening of the US dollar has a positive effect on incoming traffic, while a relatively strong domestic economic background supports outgoing demand,” IATA said.