Region's carriers also report world-beating 16% growth in cargo traffic, says IATA
Middle East airlines saw passenger demand expand by 10.5 percent in November compared to the same month in 2011, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Wednesday.
The region's carriers were the second best performers after Latin America during the month, continuing the exceptional growth throughout the year, IATA said in a statement.
However, it added that this was outstripped by a capacity increase of 11.2 percent which resulted in the load factor falling 0.5 percent to 73.5 percent. Month-on-month growth was 0.3 percent.
Carriers in the region showed the strongest growth for freight year-on-year of any region, up 16 percent on just a 6.1 percent rise in capacity. Load factor surged to 46.7 percent, up 4 percent.
Globally, air travel was 4.6 percent higher compared to November 2011, up on the October result of 2.9 percent.
Air freight volumes worldwide edged up 1.6 percent over the same period after declining 2.6 percent in October, year to year.
Passenger capacity rose 3.2 percent and load factor improved one percent to 77.3 percent compared to the year-ago period.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “November brought some positive signs for air transport demand—particularly for air cargo.
"It is premature to consider this a turning point for air cargo markets in terms of bouncing back and regaining lost ground. But, when coupled with positive economic developments in the US and an improvement in business confidence in recent months, the conditions are aligning to see a return to growth in 2013.
"In 2013 we expect that cargo volumes will grow 1.4 percent, and passenger traffic will increase by 4.5 percent worldwide,” he added.
Compared to October, November passenger traffic grew 0.6 percent. The majority of growth came from domestic markets, particularly China.