SYDNEY – THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) , which represents 230 airlines, said international passenger and freight traffic rose in July as flights increased in Asia and the Middle East, Bloomberg news reported.
Passenger demand rose 9.2 per cent from a year earlier while freight gained 23 per cent, Montreal-based IATA said in a statement on its website. The pace of passenger growth slowed from a 12 per cent increase reported in June.
IATA Chief Executive Officer Giovanni Bisignani maintained his forecast for the industry to earn US$$2.5 billion in 2010, after two years of losses, should the global recovery continue. Profitability will be driven by growth in Asia and Latin America as European traffic is crimped by a stalling economy.
‘Europe is probably the weakest spot because of currency, because of unemployment,’ Bisignani told Bloomberg Television in an interview from Sydney today. ‘We are still convinced that 2010 will be a great year.’
IATA’s members represent about 93 per cent of total international traffic, according to its website.
Asia-Pacific carriers increased traffic 11 per cent in July and will be the biggest contributor to industry earnings, with profit of $2.2 billion expected to be reported this year, IATA said.
Airlines from Latin America posted growth of 14 per cent although boosts in capacity have led to a lower proportion of seats being filled on planes. Europe had growth of 6.2 per cent in July and North American passenger traffic gained 7.9 per cent, it said.