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Int’l Air Travel Demand Up 6.8% in March

Int’l Air Travel Demand Up 6.8% in MarchInt’l Air Travel Demand Up 6.8% in March

Global demand for air travel rose 6.8% in March, as lower fares and improving economies continued to support growth through the first quarter, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

The association said it will have to wait for the April data to see the impact of restrictions on large electronic devices in the cabin on certain direct flights to the US and Britain, Reuters reported.

The restrictions, on flights from predominantly Middle East countries, were brought in by US and British authorities in late March.

However, traffic growth at the Middle East carriers slowed to 4.9% in March, against 9.5% in February as the low oil price took its toll on demand.

“This is related more to developments seen last year, while any impacts from the laptop ban will be visible from April results onward,” IATA said in a statement.

Globally, capacity measured in available seat kilometers rose 6.1%, slower than demand. That meant load factors—a measure of how full planes are—increased 0.5 percentage points to 80.4%, which IATA said was a record for March.


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