Deep losses expected - Bisignani
Air passenger traffic dropped by 4.6% in November, compared with 2007, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The association said there was a drop of 1% in capacity and a fall of 3% in load factors to 72.7% compared with last year.
IATA also reported a 13.5% drop in figures for international cargo.
It described the passenger drop as a "considerable worsening" of both the decline of 1.3% in October and 2.9% in September.
While Europe fared better than other major regions, IATA said its passenger traffic had dropped 3.4% as its intra-Europe, North America and Asia markets "slumped."
Asia-Pacific carriers suffered the worst drop of 9.7%, after a 6.1% drop in October, despite capacity cuts of 5.1%.
IATA said the figures indicated "the weakness in both global trade and consumer confidence."
In North America international traffic fell by 4.8%.
IATA said: "Until August, the region's carriers had been shifting capacity to international markets.
"With the near collapse of the investment banking sector and consequent reductions in business travel, North Atlantic travel slumped.
"Carriers have started to cut international capacity with a 0.8% drop in November (following 0.4% growth in October)."
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and ceo, said: "The industry is now shrinking by all measures.
"The 1% capacity cut in international passenger markets in November could not keep pace with the 4.6% fall in passenger demand. We can expect deep losses in the fourth quarter.
"With no end in sight for the worsening global economy, the 2008 gloom will carry over into the new year.
"Relief in the oil price has been outstripped by the falls in demand and capacity cuts are not keeping pace.
"The industry is back in intensive care. Improving efficiency everywhere will be the theme for 2009."