A Correspondent

‘Durable growth would require the consumers to start buying and businesses to making investments.'

Nedumbassery: The global aviation industry has been showing a steady improvement since the beginning of this year, from the precipitous fall in demand during early last year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

As per the statistics on international scheduled traffic for January, while the international passenger demand registered an overall increase of 6.4 percent, the flight of international cargo showed a 28.3% improvement with a capacity expansion of 3.7 percent.

It also said that against the improvement in passenger traffic, a 1.2 percent increase in passenger capacity pushed the load factors to 75.9 percent, further up from the 72.2 percent recorded in the same period last year.

The cargo load factor has also been pushed to 49.6 percent—a significant change from the 40.1 percent last time.

Actual growth

However, the agency puts the actual growth in passenger demand at just 0.5 percent and that of the air fright volumes as 3 percent given the adjustments for seasonality and when compared to December 2009.

It also held that the passenger traffic should improve by a further 2 percent to return to the peak levels of early 2008 even as the freight demand as a whole still lagged below the early 2008 peak by nearly 3 to 4 percent, despite regaining about 28 percent against the low point in the cycle.

The IATA has also forecast a loss of $5.6 billion at the end of the ongoing year even as the demand curve had started moving upward.

U.S., Europe sluggish

The improvement in international passenger demand was led by the carriers from the Middle-East region that accelerated the growth rate to 23 percent during the period, closely followed by Latin America at 11 percent and Asia-Pacific at 6.5 percent. While the African carriers witnessed an increment of 6.3 percent on the back of a robust regional economic activity, those in North America and Europe improved by a mere 2.1% and 3.1% respectively.

The sharp improvement of 3 percent in cargo movement is being driven by businesses re-stocking depleted inventories and it was stated by the agency that durable growth would require the consumers to start buying and businesses to making investments.

While these improvements were beginning to be seen in Asia, recovery in Europe was sluggish at 11.6 percent, according to IATA.