The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has raised its five-year growth forecast for international passenger traffic, predicting an average yearly increase of 7.1%, to give an annual total of 522 million passengers in 2000.

The organisation's two previous five-year forecasts both envisaged lower annual growth of 6.6%.

IATA maintains that the strongest growth will occur in Asia, led by the north-east region of the continent, with annual increases of 9.2%, followed by south-east and central Asia, and then by lower South America.

Meanwhile, the organisation expects average annual growth to continue at a rate of 6% between 2001 and 2010, when the total is anticipated to reach nearly 800 million passengers.

Including domestic traffic, IATA foresees 6.3% annual growth for a total of over 1.7 billion, world scheduled, passengers in 2000.

Source: Flight International