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Air travel ascends from doldrums as flyers return

AIR travel is slowly climbing out of its sharp descent in the recession, industry figures showed yesterday.<br />Passenger demand last month rose 0.5 per cent on October last year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).<br /><br />Growth is now six per cent above a low in March, when firms and holidaymakers stopped flying in the downturn, but remains five <br />per cent below a high reached in early 2008.<br /><br />There will be no rapid return to the upturn between 2005 and 2008 unless pent-up demand kicks in, IATA said. <br /><br />IATA director general and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said: &ldquo;The crisis has cost the industry two years of growth. Adjusting <br />costs and capacity to meet that reality will be challenging.&rdquo;<br /><br />The fall in demand for air travel in the slump has forced airlines to cut routes and to ground jets. The cutbacks have hit aircraft manufacturers such as US giant Boeing and Europe&rsquo;s Airbus.