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Press Release No.: 38

Date: 30 November 2005

Passenger Traffic Growth Slows, Freight Remains Flat



(Sanaa) - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today released industry traffic results for the first 10 months of 2005 showing a weakening trend for both cargo and passenger traffic.

October passenger traffic grew 6.0% compared to the same month in the previous year. This is considerably slower than the 7.9% recorded for the January-October period and is the slowest single-month growth recorded since January 2004. October load factor was 74.8%. Middle Eastern carriers led October growth at 15.1%. North American carriers posted October growth of 5.5%, sharply down from the 9.1% recorded in year-on-year comparisons September.

Cargo traffic in October was nearly flat at 1.1%, while year-to-date growth for January-October recorded a 2.6% increase. This is well below the 13.4% growth recorded for 2004. Middle-Eastern carriers recorded the strongest October growth at 16.8%. Asian carriers saw October growth of 0.2% while North American and European carriers saw declines of 0.5% and 0.1% respectively.

View full Traffic Statistics.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO said, "Slowing growth will continue to make the operating environment difficult. There has been some respite in the slight decline of fuel prices in recent weeks.  But we are still facing a fuel bill of US$97 billion this year-more than double what it was only two years ago. Continued improvement in cost efficiency remains critical. This will become all the more urgent as the high price of oil broadens its impact on consumer confidence and production."

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO announced the results at the Annual General Meeting of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation in Sanaa, Yemen. "The Middle East remains an oasis of good news," said Bisignani. In addition to strong traffic growth, Bisignani noted that the Middle East is also noted that the region is leading in terms of aircraft orders. "High growth rates present unique challenges and can hide many problems. I see two challenges in particular-matching capacity and demand at economic pricing levels; keeping labour costs under control at a time of profitable expansion. Strong traffic growth should be an opportunity to build a robust industry for the future."



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