Global passenger traffic results for April showed a healthy increase in demand with total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) up 7.5 percent compared to April 2013, an improvement over March growth of 2.9 percent, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports.
The year-on-year comparison is somewhat biased by the timing of the Easter holiday, which occurred in April 2014, a month later than in 2013, IATA noted. April capacity increased 5.8 percent, propelling load factor up 1.2 percentage points to 79.4 percent.
“April’s demand growth was a pleasant surprise in the face of the moderating trend of recent months but it is not clear whether the acceleration in demand is sustainable in view of global economic trends including slower growth in China,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
April international passenger demand was up 8.5 percent compared to the year-ago period with airlines in all regions recording growth and the strongest gains among Middle East carriers. Capacity rose 6.9 percent and load factor climbed 1.2 percentage points to 79.0 percent.
North American airlines experienced a 4.9 percent rise in traffic compared to April a year ago. Capacity rose 3.3 percent pushing load factor up 1.2 percentage points to 80.8 percent. Data suggest that underlying growth trends in business activity are positive and downward pressure on employment is easing, which should support stronger growth in air travel demand in coming months, IATA said.