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Airlines set record figures in first quarter of 2017

Global air traffic increased by 7% in the first quarter, as the world’s airlines filled more than 80% of available seats.

Driven by high growth in India and China, the latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows demand for air travel continues to grow around the globe.

Within the Asia Pacific region – the world’s largest aviation market – airlines saw passenger traffic increase by 10%, whilst the load factor jumped to 81.2%.

Across the globe, average passenger load factor – which is the number of seats filled per flight – increased by 1.1%, reaching a record 80.4% in March 2017.

Despite past political unrest, traffic on Asia to Europe routes showed a strong increase, recording a 22% rise since November.

However, the biggest contributing factor has been a strong demand for domestic travel within India and China.

Indian Airlines recorded a 19.4% jump in the level of traffic in the first quarter of 2017, whilst the average load factor hit 86.1%.

Chinese carriers posted similar figures, with a 10.2% increase in traffic growth, complementing a high load factor of 84.8%.

According to the IATA, the strong figures within China are being driven by ‘ongoing robust growth in the country’s services sector as well as supply developments’.

This is the 31st consecutive month that India has recorded double-digit growth and has been led by local airlines now offering 9% more domestic routes.

Japan also saw significant growth, recording a three-year high of 7.8% when it comes to domestic air traffic.

Overall, airlines have benefitted significantly from a combination of lower fares and a much more positive outlook from travellers when it comes to the global economy.

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “The price of air travel has fallen by around 10% in real terms over the past year and that has contributed to record load factors.”

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your worldwide travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 09 May 2017

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