updated 1/4/2008 2:32:57 PM ET 2008-01-04T19:32:57

Despite rapidly rising passenger traffic on international airlines late in 2007, an industry trade group said Friday it was concerned by the likelihood of slower demand growth in 2008.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

Passenger traffic, as measured by revenue-per-kilometer flown, increased 9.3 percent in November compared with the same month last year, according to the International Air Transport Association's latest data. Through the first 11 months of 2007, passenger traffic rose 7.5 percent compared with last year, the trade group said.

International air-freight demand also grew in November, but the 3.5 percent jump was down from October's 3.6 percent growth. Through November, freight demand is up 3.9 percent compared with the year-ago period.

The outlook for 2008, however, is less rosy.

"We ring in 2008 with a warning bell," IATA Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani said in a release. "Passenger demand growth is expected to fall to 5 percent. And the expected increase in freight demand growth to 4.3 percent will only help us recover some of the ground lost against sea shipping."

High oil prices and the global credit crunch also will cause industry profitability to fall to $5 billion this year from $5.6 billion in 2007, which was the first profit since 2000, Bisignani said.

Fuel costs, at 25.4 percent, accounted for the largest chunk of U.S. airlines' operating expenses in the second quarter of 2007, and are expected to represent about 28 percent of global expenses in 2007, according to domestic and international trade groups.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments