Gulf carriers post 13% passenger demand growth in May

Middle East region reports another month of double-digit growth as it outperforms rest of the world

Middle East carriers continued to post double-digit growth in passenger demand in May, making the region the strongest performer in the world, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

The region's airlines reported year-over-year traffic growth in May of 13.2 percent as airlines continue to benefit from the strength of regional economies, including non-oil production sectors, and solid growth in business-related premium travel, IATA said in a statement.

It added that capacity rose 6.9 percent and load factor climbed 4.4 percent to 78 percent.

Globally, IATA announced global passenger traffic results for May showed demand growth of 6.2 percent compared to May 2013.

While this represented a deceleration compared to April year-over-year traffic growth of 7.6 percent, the performance is indicative of improving demand drivers, IATA said.

May capacity rose 5.2 percent and load factor climbed 0.7 percent to 79 percent. All regions except Africa experienced positive traffic growth.

“We are seeing healthy demand for air traffic to support and help sustain the pick-up in global economic activity,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

On Wednesday, IATA said Middle East carriers saw freight volumes expand by 9.3 percent in May compared to a year ago, also the strongest performance in the world for the month.

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