Strength in North European exports is thought to have fanned an increase in passenger traffic globally.
According to IATA, half of all growth in capacity and traffic carried on international markets in the past year has been generated by European airlines.
Despite economic instability due to the Euro-zone crisis, US to Europe and intra-European passenger segments have been the strongest performers over the past year, IATA’s figures reveal.
The driver of this performance is thought to be business-related travel generated by strong exports in Northern European economies.
Last month, the region recorded a passenger load factor of 80 per cent – the highest out of all the regions.
Europe also recorded a 6.4 per cent rise in passenger traffic, compared to October 2010, above the global trend of 3.6 per cent.
In terms of demand, the Middle Eastern carriers performed the strongest, with a rise in passenger traffic of 7.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, carriers in the Asia Pacific region saw a 3.8 per cent increase in demand last month, compared to October 2010, and Latin American carriers a rise of 6.7 per cent.
Airlines in North America were the only ones to see a decline in demand, with a fall in passenger traffic of 1.9 per cent.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s CEO, said the current overall strength in air travel is “fragile”.
“The economic prospects for 2012 are uncertain, but the track record of aviation’s ability to act as a catalyst for economic activity is rock-solid,” he said. “Now is the time for governments to use aviation strategically in their efforts to put economies back on track.
“Implementing a Single European Sky, delivering NextGen air traffic management in the US and supporting the commercialization of sustainable biofuels for aviation are examples of government action that would generate jobs, improve environmental performance and help secure the industry’s long-term success.”