Passenger, cargo traffic on divergent trends in Sept: IATA

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Passenger traffic as measured in RPKs for September rose by 5.6% year on year, while cargo traffic declined by 2.7% compared with the year before.

International traffic posted a 6.6% year-on-year growth in September, while domestic traffic grew by 3.8%, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Passenger capacity as measured in ASKs grew by 7.5% and 2.8% on international and domestic routes, with a 5.8% growth in overall capacity.

Passenger load factors on the international market stood at 79.5% in September, slightly below the 80.1% recorded for the same month last year.

The highest load factors were recorded in North America and Europe at 82.6% and 82.4% respectively. The load factor for Asia-Pacific airlines slipped to 76.0% as the region absorbs the largest number of new aircraft deliveries, IATA added.

India led the domestic traffic with an 18.4% growth, followed by China at 9.7% and Brazil with a 7.5% increase in demand.

Meanwhile, on the cargo front, FTKs declined by 2.7% against a capacity growth of 2.4%.

Asia-Pacific carriers are the largest players in air cargo and have been the hardest hit with a 6.3% decline in demand compared with September 2010, which was due to the disruptions to supply chains as a result of the Japanese tsunami and earthquakes.

European carriers recorded a contraction in demand of 2.4%, while North American carriers reported that September freight traffic was flat compared with the previous year.

The overall cargo load factor for the month was posted at 45.1%, said IATA.