The Association of European Airlines has released traffic and capacity data for its members in September 2006.
Traffic growth was generally slightly down compared with recent months. Overall, the passenger-km increase was 4.5% compared with a year-to-date of just over 5%.
Far Eastern traffic remained buoyant at plus 8.8%, slightly down on the double-digit increases which prevailed in the first half of the year. Intra-European cross-border traffic also maintained a strong showing, at +6.8%. On the North Atlantic, the weakest of the major markets, the increase was just 1.1%.
The only negative in September was in Middle Eastern traffic, which was 2.7% down on 2005 as the military action in Northern Israel and Lebanon continued to affect the figures.
With overall capacity up 4.7%, a very small downturn was recorded in passenger load factor, which nevertheless remained high at 79.4%. This was essentially the result of a very large decrease of almost seven percentage points on Middle East operations, and a smaller but potentially more damaging downturn on the North Atlantic, where for the second successive month a three-point drop was posted.