Global aviation surges despite volcano disruption

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The Independent Travel

Flights around the globe are set to grow by five percent year-on-year in May, according to figures released last week by analyst OAG Aviation.

The total number of scheduled flights set to take off this May is 2.6 million, which is an increase of 200,000 from May 2006.

That represents 317.5 million individual passenger seats in the sky, up six percent from 298.6 million last year.

Peter von Moltke, head of OAG owner UBM Aviation, says that the figures are indicative of the recovering economy, despite the recent eruption of the Eyjafjollajokull volcano in Iceland.

"Indications are that despite the astonishing volcanic ash disruptions to the air transportation system, this month's scheduled seat capacity and frequency are normal and continue the growing trend the industry has been experiencing for the past nine months," he commented.

OAG says that air traffic to and from all regions of the world will show an increase in May, with further strong growth expected to and from Asia Pacific and to and from the Middle East.

Traffic to and from Europe is also a considerable growth area this month, up eight percent with a total of 104,144 flights, although it is eclipsed by the jump of 17 percent to and from Africa, a total of 37,349 flights.

Trending routes include those between China and the US/Canada, which have shown considerable growth - 19 percent more seats are available on routes to and from Shanghai and 16 percent more seats are available to and from Beijing.

Australian airports also appear more popular, with a nine percent increase in flights to and from Melbourne and Sydney.