Global air passenger traffic rose 4.5 percent in May compared with the same month in 2018, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This was in line with the April increase of 4.4 percent and above the recent trough of 3.1 percent year-on-year growth recorded in March. However, it remained below the 20-year average growth rate of around 5.5 percent. Capacity climbed by a modest 2.7 percent and load factor rose 1.4 percentage points to 81.5 percent, surpassing last year’s record load factor of 80.1 percent. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said that passenger demand growth has slowed compared with the past two years. This is in line, he said, with slumping global trade, rising trade tensions and weakening business confidence. In this “challenging” environment, said de Juniac, airlines are managing capacity carefully to optimize efficiency. Passenger traffic in North America also rose 4.5 percent in May.