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Airlines in financial crisis, aviation group says

Airlines around the globe are in their most widespread financial crisis since World War II, the world’s largest aviation trade group said Thursday.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 230 airlines worldwide, reported that December’s international air passenger traffic fell 4.6% year-over-year, and only about 74% of plane seats were sold. International air cargo volume fell an unprecedented 22.6% year-over-year, a sign of plummeting consumer spending.

“There is no clearer description of the slowdown in world trade,” said Giovanni Bisignani, the association’s CEO.

The report came on the same day that four U.S. carriers

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