Published on Thursday, December 6, 2018

Demand for air travel is strong in run-up to Christmas

Pre-Christmas demand for air travel is strong following a 6.3% rise in traffic during the autumn compared with the same period last year, international airline body IATA announced today

IATA said European carriers saw the greatest increase in demand in October, with traffic up 7.5% year on year following a 5.3% rise in September.

Capacity in Europe rose 7% and load factors nudged up 0.4 percentage points to 85.2%, which was the highest worldwide.

However, IATA said that given the 'mixed signals' on the economic situation for the region, it was unclear if the rebound was sustainable.

Director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: "October's healthy performance is reassuring after the slower demand growth in September—some of which was attributable to weather-related disruptions.

"However, the bigger picture is that traffic growth has moderated compared to earlier in the year, reflecting a more mixed economic backdrop and reduced demand stimulation from lower fares.

"Demand for air travel is strong as we head into the holiday travel season. Trade wars and uncertainty around the political and economic impact of Brexit remain concerns but the recent easing of fuel prices is a welcome development."

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