Global airline passenger traffic showed continuing “robust demand” in November, new figures show.

Demand growth was up by 8% year-on-year – the fastest growth rate in five months – and up from 7.3% in October, according to Iata.

Director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said: “The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. November’s strong demand gives the industry momentum.

“The number of unique city-pair connections now tops 20,000. Passengers not only have more travel choices than ever, the cost of travel in real terms has never been cheaper.

“Along with delivering great value to consumers, airlines are rewarding their shareholders with normal levels of profitability.

“We expect 2018 to be the fourth year in a row where the industry’s return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital. In sum, we begin the new year with confidence.

But added: “Challenges, however, remain. Security threats continue. Infrastructure issues persist. Fees and charges are a growing part of the cost base. And in many cases airports and air traffic management struggle to keep pace with demand and technology advancements.

“These and other challenges can only be addressed in partnership with governments. And doing so requires governments to recognise the enormous value that aviation – the business of freedom – provides to their economies and the world.”