Air traffic growth slows down as economies stall

GROWTH in air traffic slowed noticeably in August as this year’s rebound from the economic downturn lost steam, the International Air Transport Association(IATA) said yesterday.

Passenger traffic in August was 6.4 per cent higher than a year earlier, against a 9.5 per cent year-on-year increase in July, and freight traffic was 19.6 per cent higher in August, down from a 23.0 per cent increase in July, IATA said in its monthly report.

“The rapid improvements in demand that we saw earlier this year are behind us. The slowdown of demand (growth) in August is consistent with our forecast for a tougher end to 2010 as government stimulus monies run out without having generated significant improvements in employment,” said IATA director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani.

Slower demand growth in the second half of 2010 was expected to continue into next year, IATA said.

In August, global passenger traffic was two per cent above pre-recession levels of early 2008. International cargo traffic was up three per cent.