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Positive start to the New Year, but crisis looming

Provisional figures for January saw all major regions posting positive results with most…

Provisional figures for January saw all major regions posting positive results with most carriers following this pattern.

January 2003 saw total scheduled international passenger traffic (in RPK terms) increase by 10.97% on January 2002. This is less than the 13.02% recorded in December with the slightly higher base rate for these year-on-year comparisons again being a contributor. In contrast, overall capacity (expressed as ASKs) improved from 8.45% last month to 10.22%.

All regions had positive RPK growth in January with Middle Eastern carriers leading the way at 24.83%. Conversely, North American results fell from 11.20% in December to 6.37% contributing to the overall fall.

The freight market`s good performance continues with total international traffic (in FTK terms) up 11.73% year-on-year from 10.05% last month. All major regions show a strong upturn with Far East airlines the highest at 15.48%. In particular, European carriers have encouraging results with FTKs improving to 10.55% from 3.27% in the previous month.

Global traffic figure are back to their levels of January 2001. Air transport lost two years of growth, said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA, and this long-awaited recovery is obviously clouded by the crisis looming over Iraq.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.