04 July 2014 at 08.16 GMT
Growth in global passenger traffic demand fell back in May but the industry remains on course for an improving performance.
In figures released prior to details of the latest security clampdown at airports with flights to the US, Iata reported May demand increase of 6.2% year on year against 7.6% recorded in April.
The performance was described as being indicative of improving demand despite the deceleration in growth, with all regions except Africa experiencing positive traffic growth.
Iata director general and chief executive Tony Tyler said: “We are seeing healthy demand for air traffic to support and help sustain the pick-up in global economic activity.”
But he criticised ‘ill-considered” air traffic control strikes in France and Belgium last week in protest against plans for a ‘Single European Sky’.
Tyler said: “The plans of thousands of travellers and businesses were disrupted, making for a stormy start to the summer holiday season. A privileged few should not be able to stop progress on improved connectivity for all.
“This was yet another reminder of the need for Europe’s governments to take leadership and deliver transformational change in the continent’s air traffic management system.
“The costs of inadequate air traffic management to Europe are enormous—at least €3 billion for airlines and €6 billion for consumers in lost time and productivity each year.
“On top of that, there is the environmental cost of 7.8 million tonnes of unnecessary carbon emissions.
“Single European Sky will reduce delays, cut emissions, raise safety levels and create 320,000 jobs across Europe. Delivering SES is critical for Europe’s future. We cannot afford any more frustrating delays.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly