Demand for international flights across the world continued to improve in January, new figures have revealed.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), demand increased 6.4 percent compared to the same month last year, while a 1.2 percent rise in passenger capacity was also recorded.
Load factors increased from 72.2 percent in January 2009 to 75.9 percent, while there was also good news for international cargo demand.
IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani confirmed that "demand is moving in the right direction".
"We can start to see the future with some cautious optimism, but better volumes do not necessarily mean better profits," he commented.
Asia, the Middle East and Latin America reported the largest demand increases, areas that have been able to recover more successfully from the recession.
Elsewhere, African airlines reported a 6.3 percent improvement in January, a figure boosted by "robust" economic activity on the continent.
The IATA revealed last month that the Asia-Pacific region had eclipsed North America to become the world’s largest aviation market.