Airlines cautious despite rising demand: IATA

Airlines cautious despite rising demand: IATA
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Strengthening demand for air travel saw global passenger traffic rise 5.9% in March, with emerging markets leading the trend.

New figures issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that Asia Pacific traffic climbed just below the global average, up 5.4% on the same month last year. The regional rise was driven by strong growth in the Chinese market as well as an improvement in Asian trade since the last quarter of 2012.

Meanwhile, Middle Eastern carriers saw the largest rises with a 15.6% increase in traffic and a 14.2% hike in capacity, with load factors up one percentage point to 79.7%.

Latin American airlines also experienced strong growth, with demand up 11.8%. However, capacity increases outpaced traffic growth meaning load factor dipped one percentage point to 76.9% making it the only region to see a decline.

Tony Tyler, IATA director general and chief executive, said the growth indicated improving business conditions, but he highlighted "uneven" performances around the world.

"Mature markets are seeing relatively litle growth while emerging markets continue to show a robust expansion," he said.

"Although oil prices have softened in recent weeks, they remain high against historical averages."

Airlines remain cautious in their approach to capacity management as a result, Tyler added.

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