Air passenger traffic falls in Q2; IATA warns worse yet to come

Air passenger traffic falls in Q2; IATA warns worse yet to come


New Delhi: Even as the financial crisis in the aviation sector has taken a heavy toll on the passenger traffic growth rate in India, the global body of airlines IATA has warned that the worst was yet to come.

The number of passengers handled by all Indian carriers registered a whopping fall of minus 13.7%, as per the latest figures of Gross Domestic Product for the second quarter (July-September) of 2008-09, released by the government here.

However, the amount of cargo carried by the aviation sector grew modestly by 5.7% over the second quarter of 2007-08, the figures showed.

Commenting on the declining traffic, IATA CEO and DG Giovanni Bisignani warned, “the gloom continues and the situation of the industry remains critical... The slight slowing of decline in passenger traffic is likely to be temporary and the deepening slump in cargo markets is a clear indication that the worst is yet to come."

In its monthly traffic data, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also painted a “gloomy" picture of the scenario facing the global aviation industry, saying recession was “now the biggest threat" to its profitability.

The Asia-Pacific carriers, which represent 31% of the global passenger traffic, has seen a fall of 6.1%.

The reduction in capacity undertaken by airlines of this region by 2.3% “could not keep pace with the drop in demand, taking load factors for the region’s carriers to 72.2%," IATA’s figures for October showed.