February passenger traffic on the international scheduled services of IATA Members was 5.6 percent lower than in February 2001, but the trend shows a continuing improvement since October 2001, the first full month following the 11 September terrorist attacks (see chart below). Freight traffic growth has been negative since March 2001; its recovery, which had been faster than that of passenger traffic since September 2001, was reversed in February with a fall of 9 percent.
Passenger seat capacity was cut by 9.8 percent in February, resulting in a further improvement in average load factor to 72.4 percent, the highest since August 2001. In the first two months of 2002, total traffic (passengers plus freight) fell by 7.9 percent compared with Jan.-Feb. 2001, but total capacity fell by 9.5 percent.
In the first two months of 2002, carriers registered in South America had a fall in passenger traffic of 24.3 percent. North American carriers had a 10.4 percent fall, Europeans a 7.2 percent fall, but Far Eastern carriers were only 3.6 percent down.