January 2017 saw the highest passenger demand growth in more than five years.
Demand—which is measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs)—rose 9.6% compared to January 2016.
Results were positively affected by traffic associated with the Lunar New Year celebrations, which occurred in January this year, compared to February in 2016.
2017 is off to a very strong start, with demand at levels not seen since 2011
IATA estimates the holiday-related travel contributed up to 0.5% in extra demand growth.
All regions posted growth in passenger traffic, with Middle East carriers leading the way with a 14.4% year-on-year increase.
Next was the Asia Pacific region, with carriers recording a 10.9% increase in demand.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said of the results: “2017 is off to a very strong start, with demand at levels not seen since 2011.
“This is supported by the upturn in the global economic cycle and a return to a more normal environment after the terrorism and political ‘shock’ events seen in 2016."