Provisional figures for January saw all major regions posting positive results with most carriers following this pattern.

January 2003 saw total scheduled international passenger traffic (in RPK terms) increase by 10.97% on January 2002. This is less than the 13.02% recorded in December with the slightly higher base rate for these year-on-year comparisons again being a contributor. In contrast, overall capacity (expressed as ASKs) improved from 8.45% last month to 10.22%.

All regions had positive RPK growth in January with Middle Eastern carriers leading the way at 24.83%. Conversely, North American results fell from 11.20% in December to 6.37% contributing to the overall fall.

The freight market's good performance continues with total international traffic (in FTK terms) up 11.73% year-on-year from 10.05% last month. All major regions show a strong upturn with Far East airlines the highest at 15.48%. In particular, European carriers have encouraging results with FTKs improving to 10.55% from 3.27% in the previous month.

* 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

"Global traffic figure are back to their levels of January 2001. Air transport lost two years of growth," said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA. "and this long-awaited recovery is obviously clouded by the crisis looming over Iraq."