GENEVA (AP) _ Airlines belonging to the International Air Transport Association carried nearly 88 million passengers on international flights in the first half of 1988, up 6 percent over the same period last year, the industry group said Tuesday.

Guenter Eser, the director general of the IATA, which represents 172 airlines, said the growth rate is in line with long-term industry forecasts after stagnation in 1986 and a sharp rebound last year.