ME carriers top global traffic growth in May
Geneva, July 3, 2014
Middle East carriers had the strongest year-over-year traffic growth worldwide in May at 13.2 per cent as airlines continue to benefit from the strength of regional economies, a report said.
The key sectors fueling the growth included non-oil production sectors, and solid growth in business-related premium travel, added the global passenger traffic report for May released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
The regional carrier also recorded a 6.9 per cent rise in capacity while the load factor climbed 4.4 percentage points to 78.0 per cent.
African airlines experienced the slowest demand growth, up 1.9 per cent compared to May 2013. With capacity up 4.7 per cent, load factor fell 1.8 percentage points to 64.4 per cent, the lowest among the regions.
The weakness in international air travel could be in part reflecting adverse economic developments in some parts of the continent, with the slowdown of the major economy of South Africa, the report said.
Globally, passenger demand grew 6.2 per cent in May compared to the same month in 2013. While this represented a deceleration compared to April year-over-year traffic growth of 7.6 per cent, the performance is indicative of improving demand drivers. May capacity rose 5.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.7 percentage points to 79.0 per cent. All regions except Africa experienced positive traffic growth.
“We are seeing healthy demand for air traffic to support and help sustain the pick-up in global economic activity,” said Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and CEO.
Domestic air travel rose 4.6 per cent globally in May year-on-year, with all markets showing growth with significant variation in performance continuing across markets, the report said.
Capacity rose 3.8 per cent and load factor was 80.6 per cent, up 0.6 percentage points. Growth was especially strong in the developing economies of China and Russia.
“Global economies rely on the connectivity provided by aviation to sustain business and leisure-related activities. And aviation relies on efficient and dependable air traffic management services to support that connectivity,” said Tyler.
“Last week, some air traffic controller unions in France and Belgium held a short-sighted and ill-considered strike in protest of the efficiencies that the Single European Sky (SES) can deliver. The plans of thousands of travelers and businesses were disrupted, making for a stormy start to the summer holiday season. A privileged few should not be able to stop progress on improved connectivity for all.
“This was yet another reminder of the need for Europe’s governments to take leadership and deliver transformational change in the continent’s air traffic management system. The costs of inadequate air traffic management to Europe are enormous—at least 3 billion euros ($4.09 billion) for airlines and 6 billion euros for consumers in lost time and productivity each year. On top of that, there is the environmental cost of 7.8 million tonnes of unnecessary carbon emissions.
“SES will reduce delays, cut emissions, raise safety levels and create 320,000 jobs across Europe. Delivering SES is critical for Europe’s future. We cannot afford any more frustrating delays,” added Tyler. - TradeArabia News Service