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Date: 10 April 2003

IATA International Traffic Statistics February 2003

Looming Iraq Crisis Impacted Industry Results

Provisional figures for February show mixed traffic results among the major regions. In addition to this, the growth rates recorded are at lower level than in recent months.

February 2003 saw total scheduled international passenger traffic (in RPK terms) increase by 5.08% on February 2002, which is considerably less than the 11.44% recorded in January. Overall capacity (expressed as ASKs) also showed lower growth than previously at 9.30% compared to 10.31% in January. The load factor was 70.43% compared to 71.64% last month.

Year to date passenger figures for 2003 saw RPKs up 8.37% with ASKs at 9.83%. This resulted in a Passenger Load Factor of 71.07% compared to 72.05% for the equivalent period last year.

All major regions showed positive RPK growth with the exception of North American carriers with the Middle East once more the highest at 17.59%. The figure of – 4.37% for North America though is a significant deterioration on recent months and perhaps suggests the beginning of a downturn related to current events in the Middle East.

The freight market's performance follows a similar pattern to the passenger sector with growth rates lower than recently. Total international traffic (in FTK terms) was up 8.90% year-on-year compared to 13.68% in January. In particular the Far East continues to drive the total international figure with growth at 11.76%.

INTL TRAFFIC AND CAPACITY – Feb-2003
(Percent Change over 2002)

Carriers

RPK

ASK

FTK

ATK

Europe

6.96

8.91

8.89

7.43

N. America

-4.37

0.42

5.31

3.66

S. America

8.50

4.54

21.63

4.94

Asia Pacific

 4.57

 12.73

11.76

14.54

Middle East

17.59

20.95

14.20

20.13

Africa

9.57

12.36

7.60

14.56

Overall*

5.08

9.30

8.90

7.81

* figures are provisional – represent total reporting plus estimates for missing data

RPK – Revenue Passenger-Kilometres
ASK – Available Seat Kilometres
FTK – Freight Tonne-Kilometres        
ATK – Available Tonne-Kilometres
Region refers to area of carrier
registration

Year to date results

Carriers

RPK %

ASK %

FTK %

ATK %

Europe

9.29

9.46

5.25

4.33

N. America

 1.33

3.20

12.52

3.13

S. America

10.53

4.91

17.64

-0.50

Asia Pacific

10.74

 13.683

15.16

15.84

Middle East

22.52

21.14

16.04

21.47

Africa

11.22

11.14

4.72

13.54

Overall*

8.37

9.83

11.26

8.94

Interestingly, even before the impact of war and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) on traffic figures, February 2003 shows a dramatic drop in North America and Europe relative to February 2001, whereas Asia shows greater buoyancy. The statistics, in the table below, point to a lack of recovery in North America and Europe following the impact of September 11 and the subsequent crisis.

Feb 2003 compared to
Feb 2001

RPK %

ASK %

FTK %

Europe

-8.45

-12.33

-6.83

N. America

 -12.49

-17.21

-13.46

Asia Pacific

4.28

 6.03

4.3

"These figures already show the early effects of anticipated military conflict in Iraq in February 2003," said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA. "We can expect a further drop when March figures are reported, also reflecting impact of SARS on the Southeast Asian aviation markets. Naturally we hope for early resolution of the war and an end to SARS health concerns in order to avoid long-term impact on civil aviation."

-IATA-

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