August showed a strengthening of demand for global air travel with international passenger demand up 7.5% year on year, according to Iata

All regions recorded year-over-year increases in demand, yet capacity increases over August last year lagged demand at 5.6%. This pushed the load factor to match the record high of 83.4% set in July 2011.

Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 6.8% compared to August 2012.

Iata director general and chief executive Tony Tyler said: “August was a positive month for passenger travel. Strong demand and capacity discipline saw load factors match the previous record high of 83.4%.

“The solid performance was also supported by a stabilization of emerging market weakness and renewed confidence in Europe and North America.”

He added that trading conditions are still tough with high oil prices, stiff competition and regulatory hurdles.

“But demand growth remains a bright spot with most indications pointing towards an acceleration in the fourth quarter,” said Tyler.

“Aviation is the lifeblood of the global economy. It’s important for jobs and development that aviation’s growth is sustainable. That’s equally critical for its financial and environmental performance.

“Last week we announced a revised industry outlook. Profits are weak, but moving in the right direction. In 2012 airlines made an average 1.1% net profit margin. That is expected to double to 2.2% in 2014.

“Cost control, consolidation, joint ventures and product innovations are among the measures that are helping airlines achieve the efficiencies needed to secure their financial futures,” said Tyler.

“This week we have a golden opportunity to secure a major step forward on environmental sustainability at the 38th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

“It is critical that the Assembly agree a way forward on a single market-based measure to support the shared commitment of industry and governments to carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

“Interim regional schemes will only serve to distract policymakers and the industry at a time when we should be focused on the big picture.

“Finding a way forward on a global mechanism will be an historic achievement that keeps aviation at the forefront of industries managing their climate change impact,” said Tyler.