Later Chinese new year boosts airline carryings in February

Later Chinese new year boosts airline carryings in February

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The Chinese Lunar new year holiday falling a month later this year helped boost airline carryings in February.

The rise in demand demonstrates the safety of air travel despite last week's Germanwings disaster, Iata claimed.

Global airline carryings rose by 6.2% year-on-year against a rise of 4.5% in January, according to new figures from the airline industry trade body.

International passenger demand rose 6.8%, with airlines in all regions except Africa recording growth. Capacity climbed 5.7% and load factor rose 0.7 percentage points to 77.4%.

Iata director general and chief executive, Tony Tyler, said: “Lunar new year celebrations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, certainly contributed to the robust February performance, but it is also clear that solid demand for connectivity is offsetting economic weakness in some regions including the eurozone.”

Iata said that despite “feeble” economic expansion in the eurozone, some carriers including those in Turkey, continued to report strong growth.

Tyler added: “The millions of people who traveled for Lunar New Year remind us of the vital role that aviation plays in connecting our world.

“On an average day some nine million people travel on 100,000 flights. Doing that safely is the industry’s top priority.

“Words cannot express the shock and sadness that we all feel over the Germanwings tragedy. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those onboard the aircraft.

“The best tribute that we can pay them is to make flying even safer. While the criminal investigation has come to some conclusions, a thorough air accident investigation is imperative to help guide the industry forward.”

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