Passenger, freight air traffic continues to recover

Mumbai: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced international scheduled traffic statistics for July which showed continued strengthening of demand for both passenger and cargo traffic.

Compared to July 2009, international passenger demand was up 9.2 per cent while international scheduled freight traffic showed a 22.7 per cent improvement.

These year-on-year comparisons for July were less than the June growth data showing 11.6 per cent and 26.6 per cent increases for passenger and cargo traffic, respectively.

The apparent slowdown was entirely due to the fact that by July 2009 traffic was already starting to recover. After adjusting for seasonality, the improvement in demand was faster month-to-month in July than it was in June.

It is clear that the recovery has entered a slower phase.

During the second half of 2009, demand was rebounding at an annualized rate of 12 per cent for passenger and 28 per cent for cargo. In the year to July, the annualized growth rates had dropped to 8 per cent for passenger and 17 per cent for air freight. However, this is still considerably above the industry's traditional 6 per cent growth trend.

"The recovery in demand has been faster than anticipated. But, as we look towards the end of the year, the pace of the recovery will likely slow. The jobless economic recovery is keeping consumer confidence fragile, particularly in North America and Europe.