A continued slowing of growth in the demand for air transport in line with weakness in business and consumer confidence has been reported by Iata for June.

The February to June trend showed growth of just 2%, a major slowdown from the 8% annualised growth rate seen from mid-2011 through to January 2012, the association said.

Demand in June was up by 6.2% while capacity rose by a more cautious 4.5%.

Iata director general and chief executive Tony Tyler said: “The uncertainty that we see in the global economic situation is being reflected in air transport’s performance.

“Although there are some pockets of solid performance, it is difficult to detect a strong trend – positive or negative – at the global level.

“Passenger markets have been growing more slowly since the beginning of the year and freight markets gains have been mostly very weak.

“The net effect is a demand limbo as consumers and businesses hedge their spending while awaiting clarity on the European economic front.”

Calling on legislation to support aviation growth, Tyler added: “Governments around the world are recognising the important role of tourism in driving economic growth. Aviation is the backbone of the tourism industry. On average some 50% of international tourists arrive by air.

“To benefit the most from tourism, governments need comprehensive and internally-coordinated policies. In many parts of the world, aviation suffers from high taxes, insufficient infrastructure and cumbersome regulation.

“Tourism and aviation ministries understand the catalytic impact of aviation on the economy. Today the industry supports some 57 million jobs and $2.2 trillion in economic activity. The challenge is to get all ministries aligned and on the same page with policies to facilitate sustainable aviation growth that will drive further benefits across local, regional and national economies.”