IATA has announced global passenger traffic results for September, showing a continuation of the strong demand trend, despite a slight slowdown in August. Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) and capacity rose 5.5 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively, compared to September 2012. The 80.3 per cent load factor was in line with levels achieved in the same month last year. Director general and CEO, Tony Tyler, commented: “We are seeing a more positive environment for air travel demand, based on rising business confidence, a strong increase in export orders in September, and better performance of key emerging markets like China. The strong growth of recent months, coupled with the continuing improvements in air travel demand in September, suggests that there could be a further acceleration in air travel growth before the end of the year.” September’s international passenger demand grew 5.7 per cent year-on-year, with no region seeing a decrease. Asia-Pacific carriers recorded an increase of 8.5 per cent in international passengers, with improvements in China’s GDP growth and Japan’s economy cited as reasons for this. European international traffic climbed 3.4 per cent and load factors reached 83.9 per cent. North America saw a slowdown in demand on August’s 5.1 per cent, with 2.3 per cent growth in September. IATA believes that while consumer confidence and business activity is improving, the 17-day US government shutdown could cause temporary downward pressure for the region.