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MEA TRADE VOLUMES EXPAND

ME airlines see global high in passenger demand

Cape Town, May 30, 2013

Middle East airlines saw passenger demand expand by 10.9 per cent in April as against the same period of 2012, marking the strongest growth among all regions, according to a release by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

Capacity rose 12.9 per cent, however, pushing down load factor 1.4 percentage points to 76.8 per cent. Demand for air travel has benefitted from continued expansion in trade volumes in the Middle East and Africa since late 2011, with regional airlines embarking on network and capacity expansion to take advantage of that growth, said the report.

Globally, air passenger traffic results for April showed a 3.2 per cent increase in demand over the previous April. Emerging markets are continuing to lead air travel growth, with all regions reporting year-over-year gains.

“Passenger demand continued to grow in April, extending the positive trend that has been developing since late 2012,” said Tony Tyler, Iata director general and CEO.

“The increase, however, is concentrated in emerging markets. Airlines in Europe and North America reported a modest expansion compared to the strong growth seen in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. While economic developments in Europe and the US certainly bear watching, most indicators continue to signal further expansion in air travel,” he added.

Internationally, capacity rose 4.4 per cent on the previous April which was slightly ahead of demand. This pushed the industry load factor downwards by 0.9 percentage points to 78.1 per cent. If we adjust for the impacts of seasonality, the load factor remained near record highs of 80 per cent.

African airlines’ traffic climbed 4.7 per cent compared to April 2012, second best among the regions, while capacity rose 3.3 per cent, causing load factor to rise 0.9 percentage points to 67.8 per cent.

Africa was the only region to experience a rise in load factor compared to 2012. As with their counterparts in the Middle East, African airlines have seen solid growth in air travel as a result of a sustained increase in trade and rapid economic expansion in some local economies.

Asia-Pacific carriers recorded an increase of 2.4 per cent compared to April 2012. This compared to a 5.7 per cent rise in March year-over-year.

European carriers recorded 2.0 per cent growth compared to April 2012, down on March growth of 4.5 per cent - largely owing to the downward impact of the timing of the Easter holiday while North American airlines’ international traffic shrank 0.5 per cent in April versus the same month last year.

Latin American airlines posted year-on-year demand growth of 4.6 per cent but capacity rose 7.9 per cent and load factor dropped 2.4 percentage points to 76 per cent. However, the monthly trend shows an improvement in load factor.

“In just a few days, the global air transport industry will gather in Cape Town, South Africa, for Iata’s 69th annual general meeting, June 2 to 4,” Tyler said.

“High on the agenda will be addressing aviation’s environmental commitment to achieving carbon-neutral growth from 2020, as well as safety, distribution and financial sustainability.

One of our key messages to governments will be that aviation should be treated like any other business. We don’t want a handout, but we also don’t want to be singled out for special fees and taxes, and commercial regulations that chill market creativity and initiative,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Iata | Passenger traffic | capacity | Middle East Airlines | April |

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