Global passenger traffic increased year-on-year by 6.1% in April against capacity growth of 3.8%, according to IATA's April traffic report.

This resulted in an average load factor for the month of 79.3%, which the industry group says is a record high for the month.

International passenger traffic rose by 7.4% year-on-year against capacity growth of 4.3%, while domestic passenger traffic increased by 3.9% against capacity growth of 2.8% in April.

Middle Eastern carriers recorded the largest rate of growth in April, up by 16% against a capacity increase of 12.7%.

Global cargo traffic declined 4.2% in April, as international and domestic cargo traffic fell by 4.5% and 2.7% respectively.

Overall cargo capacity declined by 0.3%, as international capacity grew 0.2% while domestic capacity fell by 2% year-on-year.

"The growth in passenger markets is encouraging," says Tony Tyler, IATA's director general. "But it comes against an environment of continuing high oil prices and growing economic uncertainty. So translating the stronger demand into profits will be difficult."

IATA adds that with the exception of Africa, all markets saw capacity expansion at levels below the expansion in demand.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news