Air passenger traffic in India saw an eight per cent growth last year compared to 2013, the highest after China and Russia, even as global traffic rose by 5.9 per cent, according to data released by International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Also, the passenger carrying capacity in India rose by 5.7 per cent in 2014 with a 76.3 per cent load factor or capacity utilisation.
According to IATA, the global industry out-performed the 10-year average growth rate of 5.6 per cent. Air passenger traffic in China rose by 11 per cent, helping to drive global air travel performance upward while travel demand in Russia grew by 9.8 per cent during this period.
Besides, the Asia Pacific carriers recorded an increase of 5.8 per cent in traffic, which was the largest increase among the three biggest regions compared to 2013, IATA said.
Overall, a record 3.3 billion passengers boarded aircraft globally last year, an increase of 170 million from 2013, it said.
“Demand for passenger business did well in 2014. With a 5.9 per cent expansion of demand, the industry out-performed the 10-year average growth rate,” IATA director general and chief executive Topny Tyler said in a release.
The 2014 performance was also above the 5.2 per cent annual growth experienced in 2013 compared to 2012, Tyler said.
Carriers in the Middle-east posted double-digit growth while results in Africa were barely above previous-year levels.
“While it is clear that people will continue to travel in growing numbers, there have been signs in recent months that softening business confidence is translating into a levelling off of international travel demand,” Tyler said.
IATA, however, noted that traffic has been broadly flat over the past four months or so amid signs of a slowdown in regional production activity, despite trade volumes having remained strong.
“In the aftermath of the Greek elections and the intensifying debate on how to deliver a dynamic economic programme for Europe, we must not forget the power of air connectivity to create growth,” Tyler said.
Governments can kick-start economic development by reducing passenger taxes that depress demand for air transport, costing jobs and prosperity, he said, adding that there are already some positive signs in this direction.