Air transport shows falling demand, says aviation body
GENEVA, Aug 3 — Global air transport is in “demand limbo” owing to continuing economic uncertainty, the International Air Transport Association said yesterday.
“Passenger markets have been growing more slowly since the beginning of the year and freight markets gains have been mostly very weak,” IATA chief Tony Tyler said.
“The net effect is a demand limbo as consumers and businesses hedge their spending while awaiting clarity on the European economic front,” he said.
Although passenger demand in June grew 6.2 per cent compared with 2011, the trend since early 2012 “has seen a slowdown”, Tyler said.
IATA represents 240 airlines comprising 84 per cent of global air traffic.
The association reported that from February to June annualised passenger numbers grew only 2 per cent, compared with the 8 per cent rate from mid-2011 to January 2012.
With “uncertainty” over the global economic situation, Tyler nonetheless pointed to “pockets of solid performance” in demand for airfreight, such as in the Middle East (up 17.9 per cent) and North America, up 1.8 per cent.
For the time being it was difficult to detect a strong trend — positive or negative — at the global level, Tyler added.
Despite the difficult economic environment, airlines appeared to be coping “quite well”, said IATA spokesmen Chris Goater.
“Capacity is being monitored and cheaper fuel prices are also helping. The big worry is the global economy and the European economy is a major factor in that... The worry is the slowdown since February.” he said. — AFP/Relaxnews