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Air traffic slows

Air traffic slows
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International air traffic slowed in November – indicating the global economic recovery is losing speed.

The airline industry body IATA said growth slipped significantly in all regions with the exception of Africa.

Freight remained well below its pre-crisis levels in North America and Europe.

Harsh weather conditions in many countries in December has also had an effect, according to the International Air Transport Association.

“The year-end holiday season has been tough for travellers and for airlines,” IATA director-general, Giovanni Bisignani, said in a statement. “Airlines saw lost revenues and saw costs rise.”

Bisignani repeated IATA’s recent profit forecast for the industry, saying a strong end to 2010 overall should lift profits to $15.1 billion. Slowing traffic growth was in line with projections for a reduced profit of $9.1 billion in 2011.

“The industry is shifting gears in the recovery cycle,” Bisignani said.

He added: “Growth is slowing towards normal historical levels in the five to six percent range. Relative weakness in developed markets is being offset by the momentum of economic expansion in developing markets.”