Global traffic growth slows in March: IATA

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Global traffic growth slowed in March compared with the previous month, new data from IATA shows.

While revenue passenger-kilometres increased 3.1% in March compared with the same month in 2013, this was down on the 5.6% growth recorded in February 2014, the airline body says.

Capacity rose 5.5% and load factor fell 2.3 percentage points to 78.0%. International RPKs rose just 2.6%, outstripped by domestic growth of 4%.

The global slowdown in RPKs was experienced across most regions, although Middle Eastern carriers enjoyed strong year-on-year traffic growth of 10% in March. For carriers in the Asia-Pacific region, international traffic grew 1.1%, and for their North American counterparts there was a 0.6% increase.

Latin America is the only region where there was an improvement in March compared with February, with the region’s carriers registering a rise of 4.7% year-on-year, versus 4.2% in February.

“After a number of very strong months we are seeing a slowing of demand growth. The strong performance of advanced economies nevertheless is likely to support the continued growth of traffic in the coming months,” says Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and chief executive.