The global international passenger traffic records an 11.1 per cent year-on-year drop. The Asia-Pacific region alone was faced with a 14.5 per cent fall in airline passenger traffic in March; making the region’s statistics worse worldwide. As a result, airline revenues in the region dropped by as much as 20 per cent in the month of March alone. The Australian reports say that the International Air Transport Association cautioned that the figures could plummet even further, due to the looming swine flu outbreak.

The director general of IATA, Giovanni Bisignani, said that even though it is still very early to judge the outcome swine flu will have on the final figures, anything that always come up in the industry to shake the confidence of passengers would always have a negative outcome.

Giovanni said the swine flu timing has never been worse, considering all the economic difficulties airlines are experiencing presently. IATA announced that the March figures were imprecise by 2 per cent since Easter normally comes in April. But the association says the fundamental 9 per cent demand decrease was still around 1 per cent worse than it was in the prior month of February.

IATA said that the Asia-Pacific region was the worst hit because of the decrease in long-haul travel. It also attributed the 14.5 per cent drop in demand to the fact that aircrafts straightforwardly surpassed a 9.3 per cent reduction in capacity as aircrafts in the region traveled with lesser seats filled. The global traveler load factors also recorded a fall by 5.4 percentage points, down to 72.1 per cent.

All regions globally, apart from the Middle East recorded a fall in passenger demand, with all North American carriers dropping down to 13.4 per cent, and their European carrier counterparts recording an 11.6 per cent fall.

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