Thursday, January 04, 2007

Worldwide airline traffic grew 5% in 2006

Shortly before the end of the year, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued its annual report on airline travel statistics. Airline traffic worldwide grew by about 5 percent in 2006, with the Middle East and Asia showing the most growth while North America, Europe and Latin America were below the world average.

An article about the report, in the International Herald Tribune, says:
The Middle East was expected to keep leading the pack due to strong regional economies and sustained growth, while the Asia-Pacific region saw domestic routes showing strong growth in both capacity and traffic figures.

North American airlines, meanwhile, have had to adjust their strategies on international routes, focusing on longer routes, while dealing with stiff competition domestically "to respond to low-cost competition."

"Growth for airlines in North America, Europe and Latin America were below the world average, mainly due to a more measured deployment of capacity, some route rationalization and changes in the route mix introduced by carriers of the North American and European regions," the ICAO said in a news release.

The average passenger load was up to almost 76 percent from around 75 percent last year on both international and domestic routes.

Freight traffic was also up 3 percent over last year, with freight tons carried on scheduled services worldwide growing to around 39 million tons (35.5 million metric tons).
Overall traffic figures have been steadily rising for the last several years, after a dismal patch following the downturn immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. For crews, this means more employment stability and more aviation jobs being created around the globe. That's always welcome news.

UN aviation agency reports world airline traffic up by 5 percent in 2006 - International Herald Tribune

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