Global air travel demand was up 3.7 percent in February from a year earlier on the back of stronger business confidence, particularly in emerging markets, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Wednesday.

"Demand for air travel continues to rise on economic optimism and improved business confidence," IATA Chief Executive Tony Tyler said in a statement.

IATA represents 240 airlines operating 84 percent of global air traffic. Domestic flights are excluded from its data.