International air traffic slumps in Nov: IATA

International air traffic slumps in Nov: IATA

Geneva: Struggling airlines faced more trouble in November, with passenger numbers down and freight hit by a “shocking" 13.5% fall, industry group IATA said Tuesday, warning of heavy losses.

“The industry is now shrinking by all measures ... We can expect deep losses in the fourth quarter," IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani said.

International air passenger traffic in November was down 4.6% from a year earlier, marking the steepest fall in the past three months.

In October, passenger traffic was down 1.3% after a fall of 2.9% in September, the International Air Transport Association noted.

Meanwhile, international cargo traffic in November saw its largest drop since the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“The 13.5% drop in international cargo is shocking. As air cargo (accounts for) 35% of the value of goods traded internationally, it clearly shows the rapid fall in global trade and the broadening impact of the economic slowdown," said Bisignani.

IATA said earlier this month that it expects the industry to lose $2.5 billion (€1.9 billion) in 2009 due to the economic crisis after losses of some $5.0 billion this year.