Passenger load factor was up nearly two percentage points in March across European carriers, as all but a handful of restructuring airlines on the continent lifted traffic over the same month last year.
While direct comparison with 2012 is distorted by the earlier timing of Easter, hitting premium traffic and bolstering leisure travel, there was steady growth in traffic as measured in RPKs among European airlines. Indeed all but restructuring Air Berlin, Austrian Airlines, Czech Airlines and Iberia - which was also hit by strike action in March - increased traffic in March compared to the same month last year.
As European airline traffic - up 3.8% - outstripped the extra 1.6% of capacity, load factor across the region's carriers grew 1.7 percentage points to 79%.
Passenger load factor across North American carriers was also fractionally high in March in reaching 84.6%. Traffic across North American carriers was up 3.6%, just ahead of nearly 3% higher capacity in March over the same month last year. Ultra-low-cost carriers Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines were among the fastest growing carriers in March at 13% and 19% respectively.