Middle East airlines’ passenger traffic grows 11.5%

Business Saturday 05/November/2016 17:27 PM
By: Times News Service
Middle East airlines’ passenger traffic grows 11.5%

Muscat: Middle Eastern airlines’ passenger demand increased 11.5 per cent in September compared to a year ago, which was the largest increase among regions, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA) report.
On the other hand, global passenger traffic results for September showed that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) grew 7 per cent compared to the same month in 2015. This was the strongest year-over-year increase in seven months, said IATA in a note. Growth in domestic traffic slightly outpaced growth in international traffic.
"September’s growth in passenger demand was healthy. Importantly, this rebound from August weakness suggests that travel demand is showing its resilience in the aftermath of terror attacks. We must, of course, be ever-alert to the ongoing terror threat,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general and chief executive officer.
“And overall the industry is still vulnerable to being buffeted by rising geopolitical tensions, protectionist political agendas, and weak economic fundamentals. This will still be a good year for the airline industry’s performance, but our profitability will continue to be hard-won," he added.
International RPKs climbed 6.9 per cent with airlines in all regions recording growth compared to 2015. Total capacity climbed 7.2 per cent, causing load factor to slide 0.2 percentage points to 80.4 per cent.
European carriers saw September demand rise 5.2 per cent over September 2015. Capacity rose 5.7 per cent and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 84.8 per cent, which was the highest among regions. Demand growth seems to be returning to normal after the disruption caused by terrorism and political instability.
Asia-Pacific airlines’ traffic rose 8.6 per cent in September compared to the year-ago period, although there are still signs of Asian travellers being put off by terrorism in Europe. Capacity increased 7.7 per cent, and load factor rose 0.7 percentage points to 77.9 per cent.
North American airlines experienced a 3.3 per cent rise in demand. While the upward trend in international traffic has eased of late, seasonally-adjusted passenger volumes have risen at an annualised rate of 6 per cent since March. Capacity rose 4.2 per cent and load factor fell 0.7 percentage points to 81.5 per cent.
Latin American airlines’ September traffic rose 7.1 per cent compared to the same month last year, aided by strong demand on international routes within the region. Capacity climbed just 2.4 per cent and load factor surged 3.6 percentage points to 83.7 per cent, second highest among regions.
African airlines posted an 8 per cent rise in traffic which was matched by an equivalent rise in capacity. Load factor was almost flat at 72 per cent. The strong demand increase largely reflected favorable year-ago comparisons, as economic conditions in much of the continent remain challenging.
Domestic demand climbed 7.2 per cent in September compared to September 2015, which was up from the 4.1 per cent year-on-year growth recorded in August. India and China continued to experience double-digit annual traffic increases while elsewhere, results were decidedly mixed. All markets except Australia registered all-time highs in September load factors.
The United States domestic traffic resumed its healthy growth after a slowdown in July and August, rising 4.6 per cent in September year-over-year. Japan’s domestic traffic slid 0.7 per cent in September against a backdrop of weak consumer spending.
October saw the global aviation industry take a major step ahead to ensure that its growth is sustainable. "The nations of the world came together through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to agree a plan to offset the environmental impact generated by future air traffic growth. In taking this unprecedented step toward achieving long-term sustainability for an entire industrial sector, governments recognised the immense contribution aviation makes to economic development and global well-being,” said de Juniac.
“In conjunction with our investments in more efficient technologies, infrastructure and operations, this will ensure that aviation can continue to be the business of freedom, connecting our world with safe, efficient, reliable and sustainable air transport," he added.