Middle East carriers posted a 10.3% traffic increase in August, more than twice the global average growth, according to new figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Capacity in the region climbed 13.7% driving a 2.5% fall in load factor to 81.2%, an IATA statement said. Global passenger traffic data for August showed that demand – measured in total revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs – rose by 4.6% compared to the year-earlier period.
This represented a slowing from the 6.4%increase recorded in July. August capacity increased by 5.8%, and load factor slipped 0.9 percent to 83.8%.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “Growth in passenger demand dipped to 4.6%. While that’s disappointing compared to the previous month’s performance, it is still healthy growth. And although terrorist attacks in Europe have dampened demand, the impact is ebbing.
“Lower airfares are a major factor sustaining demand for air travel. And airline profitability is stronger than ever as a result of a better industry structure and efficiency gains. But the lingering impact of terrorist attacks in Europe earlier in the year reminds us that the aviation industry is vulnerable to many external factors beyond its control.
“The risks, including the normal ups and downs of the business cycle, won’t go away. The industry has improved resilience along with its profitability. That will be critical to responding quickly should the business environment change,” said de Juniac.