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ME carriers see air travel demand rise 2.9pc in August

GENEVA, October 10, 2019

Middle Eastern airlines experienced a 2.9 per cent rise in international passenger traffic in August, an increase from a 1.7 per cent rise in July, according to a report released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

While this was better than the average of the past 12 months, it remains far below the double-digit growth trend of recent years. Falling business confidence in parts of the region, combined with some key airlines going through a process of structural change and geopolitical tensions are all likely to be contributing factors, added the report.

Capacity increased 1.3 per cent, with load factor rising 1.3 percentage points to 82.4 per cent. 

International passenger demand for the month of August rose 3.3 per cent compared to August 2018, an improvement from a 2.8 per cent year-over-year growth achieved in July. With the exception of Latin America, all regions recorded increases, led by airlines in Africa. Capacity climbed 2.9 per cent, and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to 85.6 per cent.

Demand for domestic travel also climbed up 4.7 per cent in August compared to August 2018, unchanged from the previous month. Capacity rose 4.6 per cent and load factor increased 0.1 percentage point to 85.9 per cent.

Global passenger traffic data for August showing that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) climbed 3.8 per cent compared to the year-ago period. This was above the 3.5 per cent annual increase for July. August capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 3.5 per cent. Load factor climbed 0.3 percentage points to 85.7 per cent, which was a new monthly record, as airlines continue to maximise asset use.

“While we saw a pick-up in passenger demand in August compared to July, growth remains below the long-term trend and well-down on the roughly 8.5 per cent annual growth seen over the 2016 to Q1 2018 period. This reflects the impact of economic slowdowns in some key markets, uncertainty over Brexit and the trade war between the US and China. Nonetheless, airlines are doing a great job of matching capacity to demand. With passenger load factors reaching a new high of 85.7 per cent, this is good for overall efficiency and passengers’ individual carbon footprint,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and CEO. - TradeArabia News Service




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