Passenger Demand Shrinks in March

FIGURES FROM the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicate that the growth in scheduled international passenger traffic (year-on-year) slowed to 3.8% during March – down from the 5.8% that was recorded in February.  However, freight demand saw a positive growth of 3.7% from the previous month’s 1.8%.  It is thought that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami together with the civil unrest in the Middle East and North African region impacted on the slowing down of passenger demand.  Latin America saw the highest increase with 22.2%, followed by the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and Asia Pacific, which remained flat.
The big uncertainty is the price of oil,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.  “Even in the $120 a barrel range, it appears that strong economic growth in markets outside of Europe is continuing.  We see this in the strong demand from business for premium travel, which maintained a 7.7% growth through February.  But many leisure travellers are putting off flying because of the impact of high oil prices.