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Air-passenger traffic up 5.9% in March

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The globe's air-passenger traffic rose by a solid 5.9 percent in March compared with a year ago, fuelled by strong performances in emerging markets, the International Air Transport Association said Wednesday.

"Strong demand for air travel is consistent with improving business conditions," IATA chief Tony Tyler said in a statement.

"Performance, however, has been uneven. Mature markets are seeing relatively little growth while emerging markets continue to show a robust expansion."

Part of the rise may be attributable to traffic related to the Easter holiday, which occurred in March this year versus April 2012, IATA underlined.

But it said that the seasonally-adjusted trend continued to show strong growth, with demand expanding at an 8.0-percent annualised rate in the six months since October 2012.

Carriers' capacity meanwhile rose by 3.5 percent compared to March 2012, pushing up the load factor by 1.8 percentage points to 80.3 percent.

International passenger demand rose by 6.0 percent, with Latin America and the Middle East the driving force.

Domestic markets also experienced strong growth, as traffic increased by 5.7 percent, driven by demand within China.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130501/air-passenger-traffic-59-march