The year 2009 saw the biggest decline in air passenger traffic in the post-war era, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
Passenger traffic dropped by 3.5% from a year earlier, while freight traffic fell 10.1% as the downturn hit demand.
Despite the improvement at the end of 2009, Iata said 2010 would be a tough year for airlines the world over.
Iata has estimated that airlines collectively lost $11bn (£6.8bn) last year, and stand to lose a further $5.6bn this year.
source: BBC News