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Freight capacity and demand
Capacity rose 10.6 per cent while load factor climbed 2.7 points to 78.5 per cent, among the highest of the regions.
Middle Eastern carriers also enjoyed a 9.4 per cent rise in freight demand, also the healthiest performance among the regions.
Cargo markets weak
"Stripping this out, the underlying trend was for stronger passenger growth, while stabilised weakness in cargo markets continues," IATA said in a statement.
Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO, said: "The year started with some hopeful news on business confidence. It appears that freight markets have stabilised, albeit at weak levels. And this is having a positive impact on business-related travel. However, airlines face two big risks: rising oil prices and Europe's sovereign debt crisis."