Domestic air traffic demand fell by over 6% in Nov: IATA

Domestic air traffic demand fell by over 6% in Nov: IATA New Delhi: Domestic air traffic demand in India fell by over six percent last November as the country's business fundamentals remained "weak", though neighbouring China saw an impressive 7.7 percent growth in the same period, global airlines body IATA said Wednesday.

Overall domestic air traffic demand in India "fell by 6.5 percent, reflecting the slowing economy and sinking business confidence", the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its analysis of the latest global air traffic.

"Month-on-month traffic (in India) increased by 3.2 percent, the second month of positive growth in a row. However, it is not clear if India has turned the corner as business fundamentals remain weak," the global traffic results said.

IATA said the Chinese demand grew 7.7 percent and that in Japan by 4.4 percent on a year-on-year basis. However, Japan witnessed a low passenger load factor of 67.3 percent, "which was still the weakest for any market."

However, all Asia-Pacific carriers together experienced the strongest growth among the major regions, with demand up 6.2 percent year-on-year, it said.

Noting that airlines in Asia-Pacific "experienced increased competition on long-haul markets" in international travel, IATA said continued improvement in the month-on-month growth "would be needed to determine a change in trend".

International air travel was 4.6 percent higher compared to November 2011, up on the October result of 2.9 as passenger demand grew 5.6 percent compared to the previous year.

However, the demand for air cargo in November "brought some positive signs for air transport demand", the IATA analysis said, but added "it is premature to consider this a turning point for air cargo markets in terms of bouncing back and regaining lost ground."

"When coupled with positive economic developments in the US and an improvement in business confidence in recent months, the conditions are aligning to see a return to growth in 2013," it said.