March 7 (Reuters) - Global demand for air travel in January rose 9.6 percent, the sharpest increase in more than five years, boosted by surging demand in domestic passenger market in India and China, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Tuesday.
"2017 is off to a very strong start, with demand at levels not seen since 2011", IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement.
Passenger traffic in the Asia Pacific region jumped 14.3 percent, while growth in North America lagged for the fourth consecutive month.
IATA said it sees annual global demand for air travel still in the region of 5.5 percent.
"This is supported by the upturn in the global economic cycle and a return to a more normal environment after the terrorism and political 'shock' events seen in early 2016", the IATA head added. (Reporting by Anna Serafin; Editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan)