According to the latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the monthly result marks an acceleration compared to the 5.2% growth experienced in 2013, and was accompanied by a rise in cabin load factors, to 78.1%. “2014 is off to a strong start, with travel demand accelerating over the healthy results achieved in 2013, in line with stronger growth in advanced economies and emerging market regions,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general & CEO. January’s growth was driven by airlines in the Asia Pacific and Middle East. In Asia Pacific, passenger traffic jumped 8.0%, although this result was partially distorted by the timing of Chinese New Year. But Middle Eastern airlines experienced an 18.1% surge in traffic, with load factors climbing to 81.1% – the highest of any region. European carriers saw demand climb 6.4% in January 2014, while North American airlines experienced a 3.5% rise. Latin American traffic increased 4.4% and African airlines’ traffic rose 2.7%. Get the full story at Travel Daily