Solid January sees global passenger growth on the rise

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Global passenger traffic grew 2.7% in January, though the underlying trend was even stronger when adjusted for the impact of different timing of the Chinese New Year in 2012.

Figures released today by IATA show passenger traffic as measured in RPKS for January grew 2.7% over the same month in 2012, but by 3.5% when adjusted to account for the holiday travel-related spike seen in January 2012.

While the January growth is short of the 5.3% average seen in 2012, it does mark an improvement on the slower rates experienced at the tail end of last year. The size of the global air travel market in January increased 0.7% compared to December.

"Passenger travel is growing in line with business confidence levels. Recent months have seen some positive economic signs emerge in both the US and China, and the Eurozone crisis seems to have stabilised," says IATA director general Tony Tyler. "Of course risks remain; the impact of US budget cuts has yet to play out and fuel prices are high. But even with those headwinds - real and potential -we still see underlying support for continued and potentially even strengthened growth."

The increased traffic in January was roughly in line with the extra 2.2% of capacity added during the month. Global passenger load factor stood at 77.1% for the month.