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Passenger air travel to level off in 2018 – IATA

Passenger demand for air travel is likely to level off this year after a strong increase in 2017, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said February 1.

International passenger traffic rose 7.9% last year, well above the annual average growth seen over the past decade, said IATA.

Strong rises in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America were behind much of the increase, it said in the statement.

But a slowdown was already visible in December compared to the same month a year earlier, and was likely to continue as rising fuel costs take their toll.

“While the underlying economic outlook remains supportive in 2018, rising cost inputs, most notably fuel, suggest we are unlikely to see the same degree of demand stimulation from lower fares that occurred in the first part of 2017,” said IATA chief Alexandre de Juniac.

Global air traffic clocked up more than four billion bookings last year, he said, and is projected to reach 7.8 billion by 2036, IATA said.

IATA represents 280 airlines comprising 83 percent of global air travel.

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