Spring disasters hit Japan’s domestic aviation

Hotel News - 06/06/2011

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The series of natural and technological disasters that struck Japan earlier this year also hit Japan’s domestic air travel hard. Data on how badly aviation has been affected in the country by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power disasters has just been announced by IATA, the International Air Travel Association.

According to the latest numbers, domestic air travel in Japan was down almost a third, or 31 per cent, in April, compared to the same period last year. International air travel was also hit, with traffic to Japan down approximately 20 per cent.

Demand for travel services has been hit across the country, following the destruction wrought across many parts of Japan’s main island, Honshu in March. Travel has also been hit by widespread concern about the crisis at the Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear power facility.

In China, things were considerably better, with domestic growing in April by 10.8 per cent. This was a weaker result than during the same month in 2010, when demand grew by 15 per cent.

According to IATA’s Director General tightening financial controls were responsible. Giovanni Bisignani referred to economic policies implemented by the Chinese authorities in an attempt to reign in inflation and thwart market trends many are beginning to call bubbles.

Meanwhile, IATA had some positive news for the world’s travel industry. April saw international air-travel up by 16.5 per cent, year-on-year. Mr Bisignani said that the volume of international air traffic was now 7 per cent higher than it was in the days before the global economic recession, early in 2008.

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