European airlines saw 1.4% scheduled passenger growth for the first quarter of 2012.
However, the growth was much slower than the 7.2% growth recorded in Q111, ‘showing a drop in demand that reflects the current economic climate and uncertain outlook’, according to European Regions Airline Association (ERA).
The figures for the January-March 2012 period have just been released from the airline members of ERA.
ERA said significant reductions in capacity to match the reduction in demand resulted in load factor increasing by 4 percentage points to 64.9%.
‘Punctuality remains excellent and has even improved slightly with 87.8% of flights departing on time and 97% departing within 60 minutes,’ it added in a statement.
Mike Ambrose, ERA director general, said: ‘It has been a tough start to 2012 and the fragile economy has made trading conditions extremely difficult.
‘The industry has sought efficiency improvements by reducing capacity to match demand.
‘Full recovery is clearly some distance away.
‘Europe’s regulators and politicians need to be fully aware of the economic state of the industry when considering initiatives that could add further cost and/or operational burdens.’
To see more on the figures from ERA, click here.