Air trends: led by the Middle East, air travel continues to grow

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The Independent Travel

The number of travelers taking to the skies jumped 10.1 percent in October, according to figures released November 25 by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The year-on-year growth means that people are flying five percent more than they were before the economic crisis, said IATA, adding that the current recovery in travel seems to be strengthening.

The results were led by Middle Eastern carriers, which saw an 18 percent increase in demand compared to October 2009, allowing it to up capacity (planes and seats) by 13.7 percent.

African airlines followed, with 13.3 percent growth, only just beating North American carriers which saw a 12.4 percent jump in demand, along with the highest loads - in October, planes on the continent were flying 82.5 percent full on average.

European airlines carried 9.6 percent more passengers than October 2009 and Asia-Pacific saw a 7.3 percent demand increase.

Air travel in Latin America, still badly shaken by the collapse of Mexicana, grew by only 4.9 percent.

While admitting that the economic situation is far from stable, IATA predicts that the upward swing will continue into 2011 - according to analysis of forward schedules, 7.5 percent more space will be available for us to fly in the coming six months.

http://www.iata.org

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