Saturday 16 December 2017

ME international travel demand up 5.5pc in August

GENEVA, October 5, 2017

Middle Eastern carriers posted a 5.5 per cent increase in international travel demand for August, well below the five-year average pace of 11.1 per cent, recent data showed.

According to data released by International Air Transport Association (Iata), the Middle East-to-North America market in particular has been hit by a combination of factors, including the now lifted cabin ban on large portable electronic devices, as well as a wider impact from the proposed travel bans to the US.

Traffic growth on the segment was already slowing in early-2017, in conjunction with an easing in the pace of growth of nonstop services flown by the largest Middle Eastern airlines. Capacity increased 5.1 per cent, with load factor rising 0.3 percentage points to 81.4 per cent.

Latin American airlines recorded the strongest growth among regions, posting a 9.3 per cent demand rise compared to August 2016. Although this was down from the 11.1 per cent increase in July, it was still the strongest performance among regions. Capacity increased by 10.1 pe cent and load factor slid 0.6 percentage points to 82.7 per cent, making the region the only one to see a decline in load factor.

Traffic on the North-South America route has recovered in recent months, helped in part by signs of ongoing recovery in Brazil, the region’s largest economy. Meanwhile, international RPKs flown between North and Central America, as well as within South America, have also continued to trend strongly upwards.

August international passenger demand rose 7.0 per cent compared to August 2016. Capacity climbed 6.1 per cent, and load factor edged up 0.8 percentage points to 84.5 per cent.

Demand for domestic travel also climbed 7.6 per cent per cent in August compared to August 2016, on pace with the 7.5 per cent growth recorded in July. Capacity rose 6.9 per cent and load factor increased 0.6 percentage points to 84.5 per cent.

"Following the strong summer traffic season in the Northern hemisphere, 2017 is on course to be another year of strong traffic growth. However, some important demand drivers are easing, particularly lower fares. As we head towards the end of the year we still expect growth to continue, but potentially at a slower pace," said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata's director general and CEO.   

Iata announced global passenger traffic results for August showing that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) climbed 7.2 per cent compared to the year-ago period. At the same time, the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has eased from that seen at the end of 2016.

August capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.3 per cent, and load factor climbed 0.7% percentage points to 84.5 per cent, which was just below the record for the month set in 2015. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: demand | travel | growth | Passenger | Carrier | ME | Air |

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