Airlines suffer worst passenger demand in the post-war era

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said yesterday that the year 2009 saw the biggest demand decline in air passenger traffic in the post-war era and the worst in the industry's history.

Passenger demand for the full year was down 3.5 per cent with an average load factor of 75.6 per cent. Freight showed a full-year decline of 10.1 per cent with an average load factor of 49.1 per cent.

IATA's director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said, "In terms of demand, 2009 goes into the history books as the worst year the industry has ever seen."

Geneva, Switzerland-based IATA, which represents about 230 airlines and 93 per cent of scheduled international air traffic, said that passenger demand for the full year fell 3.5 per cent with an average load factor of 75.6 per cent, while freight fell 10.1 per cent with an average load factor of 49.1 per cent.

But December month showed an upturn with international passenger capacity falling 0.7 per cent, while freight capacity grew 0.6 per cent compared to December 2008.

Although air passenger traffic demand has improved in recent months, but they still below 2008 levels down by 5-10 per cent.