International airline traffic slowed in August compared to July, with the total passenger market down 1.6 percent and cargo down by 1.3 percent, industry figures released on Monday showed, reflecting a sharp weakening in the global economy.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said international markets fell by 1.8 percent, while domestic markets slipped 1.0 percent.
Although passenger traffic — measured by the distance of flights and the number of passengers — was up 4.5 percent from August 2010, the growth rate was slower than the 6.1 percent in 2011 so far.
“The industry has shifted gears downward. The pace of growth in passenger markets has dipped and the freight business is now shrinking at a faster pace. With business and consumer confidence continuing to slump globally there is not a lot of optimism for improved conditions any time soon,” said IATA Director General Tony Tyler said in a statement.
Freight traffic shrank at 3.8 percent in August from a year previously and was up a mere 0.2 percent in the year to date.