Middle East Airlines Post Strong Growth Rates

Carriers in the region saw passenger demand increase by over 18 per cent year-on-year in June, says IATA.

Middle East airlines were the strongest performers in terms of international passenger traffic in June this year, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Regional carriers posted a passenger demand growth of 18.2 per cent as compared to capacity expansion of 13.4 per cent, IATA said in a statement. Load factors stood at 78.6 per cent.

“In contrast to the overall market, the growth trend in this region has been robust throughout 2012, gaining a further 1.9 per cent in June compared to May,” the statement added.

Air freight movement in the Middle East also went up, with carriers recording a 17.9 per cent rise in demand against a 14.2 per cent increase in capacity.

“Middle Eastern airlines have been adding capacity to meet the need for moving goods between the Middle East and Africa and also toward Europe and Asia,” said IATA.

Globally, while demand for air travel in June increased by 6.2 per cent year-on-year, capacity grew by 4.5 per cent, leaving load factors at 81 per cent. International air passenger traffic also rose by 7.4 per cent during the period.

“While this appears to be a healthy growth rate, the growth trend since early 2012 has seen a slowdown,” the statement said.

Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “The uncertainty that we see in the global economic situation is being reflected in air transport’s performance.

“Although there are some pockets of solid performance, it is difficult to detect a strong trend—positive or negative—at the global level. Passenger markets have been growing more slowly since the beginning of the year and freight markets gains have been mostly very weak.

“The net effect is a demand limbo as consumers and businesses hedge their spending while awaiting clarity on the European economic front.”