The International Air Transport Association has announced global passenger traffic results for April showing a 3.2 per cent increase in demand over the previous April.
Emerging markets are continuing to lead air travel growth, with all regions reporting year-over-year gains.
The timing of the Easter holiday (which occurred in March 2013 and in April 2012) is largely responsible for the apparent decline from March performance (when year-on-year demand showed a 6.2 per cent increase).
The seasonally adjusted rate for April showed demand up almost 5%, which is in line with the long term historical trend.
“Passenger demand continued to grow in April, extending the positive trend that has been developing since late 2012.
“The increase, however, is concentrated in emerging markets. Airlines in Europe and North America reported a modest expansion compared to the strong growth seen in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
“While economic developments in Europe and the US certainly bear watching, most indicators continue to signal further expansion in air travel,” said Tony Tyler, IATA director general.
Capacity rose 4.4 per cent on the previous April which was slightly ahead of demand.
This pushed the industry load factor downwards by 0.9 percentage points to 78.1 per cent.
If we adjust for the impacts of seasonality, the load factor remained near record highs of 80 per cent.