Air passenger numbers soar in Middle East
Geneva, February 6, 2014
Middle East carriers recorded the strongest overall growth globally in passenger numbers (domestic and international combined) last year, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said.
Middle East airlines posted a 11.4 per cent growth in 2013 compared to 2012, while globally the passenger demand increased by 5.2 per cent, Iata said.
The Middle East was followed by Asia-Pacific (7.1pc), Latin America (6.3pc) and Africa (5.2pc). The slowest growth was in the developed markets of North America (2.3pc) and Europe (3.8pc).
The global 2013 performance aligns with the average annual growth rate of the past 30 years. Capacity rose 4.8pc and load factor averaged 79.5pc up 0.4 percentage points over 2012, Iata said.
Demand in international markets (5.4pc) expanded at a slightly faster rate than domestic travel (4.9pc).
"We saw healthy demand growth in 2013 despite the very difficult economic environment. There was a clear improvement trend over the course of the year which bodes well for 2014. Last year’s demand performance demonstrates the essential and growing role that aviation-enabled connectivity plays in our world. And with system-wide load factors at 79.5pc it is also clear that airlines are continuing to drive efficiencies to an ever-higher level," said Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and CEO.
International Passenger Demand
International passenger demand grew by 5.4pc in 2013 compared to 2012 with all regions reporting growth. Capacity rose 4.9pc, boosting load factor to 79.3pc, up 0.4 percentage points over 2012.
Middle East airlines recorded the strongest increase in passenger traffic in 2013, a rise of 12.1pc compared to 2012, but below the 15.4pc growth recorded in 2012 compared to 2011. Carriers in the region have benefitted from the continued strength of regional economies, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE and solid growth in business-related premium travel, particularly to developing markets such as Africa. However, capacity grew faster at 12.8pc and load factor declined slightly by 0.1 percentage points to 77.3pc from 77.4pc in 2012.
Domestic Passenger Demand
Domestic air travel demand rose grew by 4.9pc in 2013 compared to 2012, up from 4pc in 2012 versus 2011. Capacity rose 4.6pc and load factor climbed 0.4 percentage points to 79.9pc. All markets recorded positive gains, with the strongest growth occurring in China and Russia.
Commercial aviation is celebrating its first century in 2014. "What was impossible yesterday is an accomplishment of today, while tomorrow heralds the unbelievable." With these words, Percival Fansler, creator of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, inaugurated the era of commercial aviation on January 1, 1914.
"Fansler was right. The first century of commercial aviation has changed the world. It has made it a better place through connectivity. Forward-looking governments recognise the power of aviation to drive economic growth and spread prosperity. These governments are laying the foundations for our next century and in doing so will reap enormous benefits. But not all governments are on the same page. This anniversary year is an opportunity to remind short-sighted governments that they risk being left behind if they cripple aviation with taxes, over-burden it with onerous regulation, or fail to provide the infrastructure that it needs to grow," said Tyler. - TradeArabia News Service