The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released industry traffic data for the first three quarters of 2004 demonstrating sustained traffic increases across all regions. International scheduled passenger traffic for the nine months to September 2004 grew 17.7% over the same period in 2003 while cargo posted gains of 14.1%. Single month comparisons for September 2004 to September 2003 show 10.9% growth for passenger and 13.6% for cargo traffic.

;"People are travelling again. Every region is reporting double digit growth. Traffic clearly is rebounding from 2003, which was an exceptionally bad year," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO.

Effective capacity management continues to be evident in strong load factors of 75.5% for September and the nine-month average load factor of 74.6%.

"Airline efforts to meet demand and reduce costs are paying off. We are well placed to achieve 14% passenger growth in 2004 with a 3% reduction in non-fuel unit costs," said Bisignani. Airlines' cost-cutting has been particularly successful with respect to personnel and distribution costs. "Some airlines have achieved increases in productivity of as much as 13%. Similarly, reductions in distribution costs in the region of 14% have been realized," said Bisignani.

"The sad story is that, despite these improvements, the bottom line is worsening with the extraordinary price of fuel. If current fuel price levels persist, losses may well exceed the US$3-4 billion previously forecasted for 2004," said Bisignani.

"Efficiency, efficiency and efficiency. Improving efficiency is the mantra. This applies equally to shortening air routes, operating more fuel efficient aircraft and streamlining industry processes. IATA is taking a leading role in simplifying the industry's complex processes that will save billions and generate added value for passengers. With oil in the US$50/barrel range, it is critical that our industry partners join these efforts in earnest. In particular governments, air navigation service providers and airports need to cooperate to optimise flight operations and reduce fuel consumption," said Bisignani.

Sept 2004 over Sept 2003

RPK Growth

ASK Growth

PLF

FTK Growth

ATK Growth

Africa

6.4%

8.5%

69.5

16.5%

7.5%

Asia Pacific

12.8%

13.8%

73.0

13.4%

10.0%

Europe

8.2%

7.2%

77.8

11.2%

7.7%

Middle East

19.5%

18.0%

74.0

30.0%

20.5%

North America

11.0%

7.8%

79.0

13.8%

6.0%

South America

7.6%

7.7%

73.2

7.3%

6.8%

Industry

10.9%

10.4%

75.5

13.6%

9.0%

YTD (Jan -Sept) 2004 over 2003

RPK Growth

ASK Growth

PLF

FTK Growth

ATK Growth

Africa

10.7%

9.4%

67.1

17.2%

10.4%

Asia Pacific

25.3%

18.0%

72.6

15.4%

16.5%

Europe

11.3%

8.7%

75.6

11.2%

9.2%

Middle East

29.1%

24.3%

72.3

28.4%

28.0%

North America

16.6%

11.3%

79.6

11.7%

9.6%

South America

11.1%

6.9%

74.0

12.3%

9.4%

Industry

17.7%

13.1%

74.6

14.1%

13.1%

Sept 2004 over Sept 2000

RPK Growth

ASK Growth

PLF

FTK Growth

ATK Growth

Africa

16.5%

12.7%

2.3

16.8%

3.6%

Asia Pacific

9.0%

14.8%

-3.9

21.2%

17.5%

Europe

-0.7%

0.1%

-0.6

2.9%

3.0%

Middle East

56.0%

48.9%

3.4

59.3%

56.1%

North America

-2.8%

-4.6%

1.4

-0.6%

-0.6%

South America

5.8%

3.3%

1.7

8.0%

7.1%

Industry

5.0%

6.5%

-1.1

12.6%

9.6%

YTD (Jan-Sept) 2004 over 2000

RPK Growth

ASK Growth

PLF

FTK Growth

ATK Growth

Africa

17.0%

13.6%

1.9

11.5%

4.0%

Asia Pacific

11.7%

14.9%

-2.1

25.3%

21.8%

Europe

1.8%

-0.2%

2.6

6.9%

3.0%

Middle East

48.4%

43.2%

2.6

53.5%

51.2%

North America

4.1%

-0.5%

3.4

2.0%

3.2%

South America

11.7%

7.6%

2.7

13.9%

18.8%

Industry

8.1%

7.2%

0.6

15.9%

11.8%

Notes for editors:


1.IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents over 270 airlines comprising 95% of international scheduled air traffic.
2.Explanation of measurements:
a.RPK: Revenue Passenger Kilometres measures actual passenger traffic
b.ASK: Available Seat Kilometres measures available passenger capacity
c.PLF: Passenger Load Factor is % of ASKs used.In comparisons 2004 over 2000, PLF indicates point differential between the periods compared.
d.FTK: Freight Tonne Kilometres measures actual freight traffic
e.ATK: Available Tonne Kilometres measures available total capacity (combined passenger and cargo)
3.IATA statistics cover international scheduled air traffic; domestic traffic is not included.
4.All figures are provisional and represent total reporting at time of publication plus estimates for missing data.
5.Due to uncertainties in the adoption of the new ICAO statistical definitions by reporting carriers, care should be taken when making year comparisons.