Mideast carriers' passenger demand up 10pc
Geneva, August 6, 2014
The Middle East carriers’ passenger demand jumped 10.8 per cent in June, the largest increase for any region, according to the International Air Transport Association's (Iata) June report.
It reflects the continued strength of regional economies and solid growth in business-related premium travel, it said.
The passenger capacity in the region climbed 5.9 per cent, propelling the load factor up 3.7 percentage points to 82.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, the international passenger demand in June rose 5.5 per cent compared to the same mo nth last year, with airlines in all regions except Africa recording growth and the strongest gains among Middle East carriers.
The capacity climbed 5.7 per cent and load factor dipped 0.2 percentage points to 81.4 per cent, said the report.
The total revenue passenger km (RPKs) rose 4.7 per cent over the year-ago period, which was below the 6.2% year-on-year increase recorded in May.
The capacity in June capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by five per cent, causing load factor to slip 0.2 percentage points to 81.5 per cent.
Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and CEO, said: “June traffic growth at 4.7 per cent is encouraging even though it is a slight weakening on May’s performance. Earlier signs of a softening in demand are dissipating. While that’s good news there are many risks in the political and economic environment that need careful monitoring.”
The domestic travel demand rose 3.4 per cent in June compared to June last year, with the strongest growth occurring in Russia and China.
The total domestic capacity was up 3.8 per cent and load factor slid 0.3 percentage points to 81.7 per cent.
“Demand for air travel and the connectivity it provides remains strong. But uncertainty in the global political and economic climate has the potential to negatively impact demand. Risk is today’s reality, whether it’s conflict in the Middle East, sanctions and an impending trade war with Russia, possible default in Argentina or the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa,” said Tyler.
“All have the potential to dent demand. We are optimistic that the industry will still end the year with an improvement in profitability over 2013. But the regional impact of some of these risks will challenge some airlines more than others,” he said.
“One of the biggest regional challenges could be Ebola. Travellers should be reassured that airlines are coordinating closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). WHO currently advises that the risk to travellers is low and is not recommending travel restrictions or border closings. If, however, a passenger feels unwell it is always advised that they seek the advice of a doctor before traveling,” he added. - TradeArabia News Service