IATA monthly international traffic figures for January 2004 show a 5.9% growth in passenger traffic and 7.2% increase for freight, as compared to January 2003. These results confirm the healthy recovery trend of the last quarter of 2003, comments IATA Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani.Ê It is a good start towards achieving the 7% annual growth in global passenger traffic and 4.4% in cargo that we have forecast for 2004.The Middle East region continues to its strong recovery with 30.3% passenger traffic growth as compared to January 2003 when the Iraq conflict slowed travel to the region. The Far East and Africa regions also enjoyed a sustained traffic increase, which can be attributed to the New Year holidays in Asia and the religious holidays in the Middle East. North America and Europe traffic were both over the 3% growth mark.
The 7.2% freight traffic increase in 2004 is especially positive considering that the freight growth in January 2003 was the most significant during 2003.Ê Most of the regions benefited from healthy freight traffic, with only North America showing a decrease of 4.9% year-on-year.
For January 2004, the Passenger Load Factor (PLF) of 73.3% is slightly lower than 74% in December 2003.Ê This is due to an increased capacity of 3.7%Êin ASK.Ê The continued high PLF reflects the cautious management of capacity within airlines and a healthy demand for the start of the year.