May 3, 2018 / 12:51 PM / 7 months ago

Global air passenger traffic demand up 9.5 percent in March: IATA

A Scandinavian SAS airline passenger plane flies near the air traffic control tower after taking off from Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris, August 21, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Global air passenger traffic in terms of revenue passenger kilometers climbed 9.5 percent in March, which was the fastest growth rate in a year, supported by strong economic growth, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.

Capacity measured in available seat kilometers grew 6.4 percent compared with the year-earlier period, IATA said.

“The strong first quarter provides healthy momentum heading into the peak travel period in the Northern Hemisphere,” he said.

In second quarter, however, rising costs and in particular higher fuel prices will likely moderate any boost in demand that has come from lower fares, IATA Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac said.

European carriers Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) and International Group Airlines (ICAG.L) are expected to provide an indication of summer bookings when they publish quarterly financial results on Friday.

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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