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International passenger demand declined by 3.1% in April

IATA: worst may be over but no recovery imminent

International passenger demand declined by 3.1% in April, an improvement on the 11.1% fall seen in March, according to IATA figures. But the association warns the figures should ‘be viewed with caution’ because Easter holidays positively skewed the data by at least 2%.

Also, traffic gains were at the expense of yields in most regions and preliminary data for May suggests a renewed double digit decline, at least for European airlines.

Load factors improved to 74.4% in April, compared to 72.1% in March, but were slightly distorted by high volume holiday travel. Further fare cuts have helped increase demand on North Atlantic routes.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and chief executive, warned: ‘We are not out of the woods yet. The demand improvements that we saw in April are welcome but the 3.1% decline in passenger demand still outstripped the 2.5% cutback in capacity. ‘There is no improvement in revenues as yields continue to fall. And freight remains at shockingly low levels. ‘The worst may be over. However, we have not yet seen any signs that recovery is imminent.’

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