Strong Feb Performance, Outlook Fragile - IATA

April 3, 2012

Bookmark and Share

Global air passenger traffic rose by 8.6 percent in February while cargo demand was up 5.2 percent, according to figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

However IATA said that several factors had inflated the month’s results compared to February 2011. There was weaker traffic in the Middle East during the 'Arab Spring' uprisings and Carnival in Rio had happened a month earlier in 2012 compared to the previous year.

It also said that Chinese New Year affected cargo demand in January which pushed some deliveries into February.

Compared to the January 2012 figures the picture changes significantly with passenger demand only growing by 0.4 percent and cargo declining by 1.2 percent.

"The outlook is fragile. Improvements in business confidence slowed in February," said Tony Tyler, IATA's director general.

"This will limit the potential for business class travel growth and it implies that an uptick for cargo is not imminent," he said.

"At the same time, airlines trying to recoup rising fuel costs could risk reduced volumes on price sensitive market segments. Weak economic conditions and rising fuel costs are a double-whammy that an industry anticipating a 0.5 percent margin can ill-afford."

(Ken Symon)