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Passenger and freight traffic forecasts have been released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an organisation representing 240 airlines, projecting that the air transport industry will handle 2.75bn passengers and 36m tonnes of international freight in 2011, an increase of 620m passengers and 7.5m tonnes compared to 2006.
IATA said international passenger demand is expected to increase to 980m passengers in 2011 from 760m passengers in 2006, at a 5.1% annual average growth rate (AAGR), compared to the 7.4% AAGR recorded during 2002-2006.
Domestic passenger demand is expected to increase to 1.77bn passengers in 2011, compared to 1.37bn passengers in 2006, representing an AAGR of 5.3%, boosted by expansion in the Indian and Chinese domestic markets.
According to IATA, international freight volumes are expected to increase at a 4.8% AAGR over the forecast period, supported by globalisation, economic growth and trade. Price competition from other forms of transport is expected to keep freight demand growth under the 6.2% AAGR recorded for the 2002-2006 period.
The strongest international passenger demand growth is forecast for the Middle East, with an AAGR of 6.8%. This compares to growth of 5.9% in Asia Pacific; 5.6% for Africa; 5% for Europe; 4.4% in Latin America; and 4.2% in North America. International freight demand is expected to be 5.4% AAGR in Asia Pacific over the period, followed by the Middle East with 5%.
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Air Cargo Basically Flat
Intra-Asian and Asian outbound air freight traffic accounts for 47 percent of total international air cargo volumes.
The Asia Pacific region is set to lead a continued global growth in air freight volumes over the next four years.