Steady growth in global air traffic: IATA

Steady growth in global air traffic: IATA New Delhi: Global air traffic saw a steady growth in November last year, with airlines' body IATA predicting easing of pressure on the air travel markets across the world in the coming months.

"The downward pressure on air travel markets seen throughout 2012 is now showing signs of easing in the months ahead," the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its Traffic Monitor for the month.

It, however, said, "This growth may not translate to acceleration in air travel growth, but it could provide enough support, particularly to premium markets, to prevent a further slowdown in growth."

While the premium (first and business class) traffic was 4.4 percent higher in November compared to a year ago, economy travel was up 5.8 percent in November year-on-year.

Premium travel within the Far East was the key driver of year-on-year growth in November, with the market 13.7 percent higher than a year ago, it said.

A majority of the growth in premium travel was driven by demand within the Far East. This was marked by China's economic recovery and increased Asian trade growth which supported air travel in the region, the study said.

Improvements in Asia's economic backdrop have also offered support to demand for air travel segments that connect to the region.

The study said premium travel on Europe?Far East was up 4.4 percent in November compared to a year ago. Similarly, Africa?Far East routes also experienced a notable rise in premium travel, 14.6 percent higher than a year ago.

"Continued growth in trade between Africa and Asia has supported premium travel on this market, with China currently being Africa's largest trade partner," the IATA said.

PTI