Hopes rise for aviation recovery

HOPES of a firm recovery in global air travel have risen after passenger demand increased by a tenth last month, industry figures showed.

Demand increased by 10.1 per cent in October while freight rose 14.4 per cent, according to traffic data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Industry growth was returning to more normal patterns and passenger demand was five per cent above the pre-crisis levels of 2008, the figures showed.

But airlines stayed cautious, expanding seats by four per cent in the first ten months of the year against an 8.5 per cent increase in demand.

IATA director-general Giovanni Bisignani said a single month did not make a trend and it was unclear whether the freight rise indicated volume recovery or stabilisation.

“The picture going forward is anything but clear, but for the time being, the recovery seems to be strengthening,” he said.

IATA said the passenger demand growth in October was slightly below the 10.7 per cent in September, but both months represented an improvement on August.

European carriers increased demand by 9.6 per cent over October 2009 and North American airlines boosted demand by 12.4 per cent.