UPDATE 1-Falling tickets prices boosting air travel demand in 2015
* Fares drop 5 percent over first 8 months of year
* Passenger traffic up 7.5 pct in Oct, load factor 80.5 pct
* Falling fares boost leisure demand (Adds comments from IATA head, details of load factor, industry background)
By Victoria Bryan
BERLIN, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Falling airplane fares are helping to support strong growth in global air passenger traffic, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.
Data shows fares have fallen 5 percent over the first eight months of year, boosting leisure travel, IATA said, estimating that falling prices have contributed around 3 percentage points to traffic growth so far this year.
In the first 10 months of the year, passenger traffic rose 6.8 percent, IATA said. In most parts of the world, growth in demand is outstripping the additional capacity being laid on by airlines, meaning planes are getting fuller.
But falling fares are forcing many airlines to seek cost savings, particularly as they deal with increased competition from low-cost carriers.
Europe's biggest low-cost carrier Ryanair has predicted a fare war this winter and on Thursday published November traffic figures showing a 21 percent jump in traffic and virtually full planes. Continuación...