Region's carriers post strong passenger growth in July

Middle East carriers recorded the strongest regional growth in international passengers numbers in July, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said on Wednesday.

Regionally, in that month airlines posted a 13.1 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger traffic, following a slow month in June because of Ramadan.

Capacity of Middle East carriers rose by 15.5 per cent year-on-year in July, leading load factor to drop 1.7 percentage points to 78.6 per cent. Overall, Middle Eastern carriers had a 9.4 per cent share of total global passenger numbers.

The region also recorded the highest revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) and available seat kilometres (ASKs), two key industry performance indicators, out of all regions. RPKs for regional airlines rose by 12.5 per cent, while ASKs climbed by 15.1 per cent.

Globally, demand for air travel grew 5.9 per cent in that month compared with a year earlier, with European airlines showing the slowest growth out of all regions.

Globally, July’s international passenger traffic increased by 7.1 per cent year-on-year, which was higher than the 5 per cent yearly rise in June. Total airline capacity rose by 7.3 per cent, leading load factor to dip 0.2 percentage points to 83.5 per cent.

“Demand was stimulated by lower fares which, in turn, were supported by lower oil prices,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and chief executive. “And near-record high load factors demonstrate that people want to travel.”

Middle East carriers’ air freight demand climbed by 6.7 per cent year-on-year in July, which is nearly half the 14 per cent annual increase recorded between 2012 and last year, Iata said on Tuesday.

The lower figure is attributed to slower cargo growth between the region and Asia. Cargo capacity in July increased by 11 per cent, the organisation said.

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