The Brussels terror attacks in March hit demand for flights the following month but the impact is expected to be “short-lived”, according to latest Iata data.

Global passenger traffic figures for last month showed that year-on-year demand rose by 4.6% – the slowest pace since January 2015.

The disruptive impact of the Brussels airport attack weighed on the April figures.

Demand growth would have been around 5% in the absence of the attacks, Iata estimates.

April capacity increased by 4.9% but the load factor slipped 0.3 percentage points to 79.1%.

Iata director general and CEO Tony Tyler said: “The disruptive impacts of the Brussels terror attacks will likely be short-lived.

“There are some longer-term clouds over the pace of demand growth. The stimulus from lower oil prices appears to be tapering off. And the global economic situation is subdued.

“Demand is still growing, but we may be shifting down a gear.”

The threat of terrorism, cyber security and climate change are high on the agenda at Iata’s annual general meeting which starts in Dublin tomorrow (Wednesday).

“The airline industry’s most senior leaders will discuss measures to ensure the economic and social benefits of safe, secure, efficient and sustainable global air transport,” Tyler said.