Middle East carriers witnessed a stellar 14 per cent year-on-year growth in passenger traffic in October, much higher than the global average of 6.9 per cent, according to the latest report released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
However, capacity in the region also grew, rising 13.9 per cent during the period.
Load factor stayed flat compared to the year-ago period at 75.5 per cent, said IATA.
“Airlines in the region have benefitted from strong demand for business-related premium travel, particularly to developing markets such as Africa,” the report said.
“Solid performance of key economies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has also supported strong expansion in business and leisure travel.”
Globally, IATA stated that October international passenger demand was up 6.9 per cent year-on-year with airlines in all regions recording growth. Capacity rose 6.6 per cent and load factor increased by 0.2 percentage points to 78.4 per cent.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “October traffic results reinforce expectations for a strong fourth quarter traffic performance in line with rising business confidence and better economic performance in the major advanced economies.
“In 2013, the airline industry will carry more than three billion passengers in a year for the first time. And on January 1 2014, we will celebrate a century of scheduled commercial aviation.
“These twin landmarks provide an opportunity to reflect on the enormous contribution aviation makes to all of our lives. That contribution comes not from the fees and taxes with which governments continue to burden aviation and air travellers, but rather from the ability to bring people together, connect people to markets and to create opportunities for greater understanding among cultures,” he said.