Middle Eastern carriers recorded around 11.7 per cent year-on-year growth in passenger traffic during the month of August, the strongest globally, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Regional airlines continued to benefit from a growing economy and rising business travel, the report added.
Capacity across the carriers rose 10.3 per cent while the load factor rose 1.0 percentage point to reach 83 per cent.
Globally, air passenger traffic showed a slight pick-up in demand during August. International passenger traffic rose 6.7 per cent in August with all regions showing growth over the previous year.
Total revenue passenger kilometres rose 5.9 per cent year-on-year compared to 5.4 per cent increase recorded in July. Meanwhile, the capacity climbed around 5.5 per cent while load factor stood at 83.9 per cent.
“August was a good month right across the industry,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
“All regions reported an expansion in demand for air travel. And load factors were high, reflecting the fact that August is peak travel season in the Northern hemisphere.”
But Tyler warned that strong growth in some areas might not be sustained.
“European travel, for example, continues to show robust growth. The 6.1 per cent year-to-date expansion in demand reflects a solid step up from the 3.8 per cent growth recorded in 2013,” he said.
“But it remains a question how long the robust trend in passenger travel can continue in light of the continent’s increasingly worrying economic outlook.”
IATA also noted the looming risk of the spread of the Ebola virus but said that it will not hinder air travel growth.
“The airline industry is taking its guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and public health authorities to keep flying safe for passengers and crew,” said Tyler.
“Travelers should be reassured since WHO has clearly said that the risk of Ebola transmission on board an aircraft is very low. Moreover, WHO is not advising any restrictions on travel.”