MidEast airlines post best passenger growth in Jan

Regional carriers see rise in demand and load factors amid demand from emerging economies
airline generic, aeroplane
By Daniel Shane
Tue 05 Mar 2013 03:31 PM

Airlines in the Middle East registered the best growth
worldwide in terms of passenger numbers during January, according to the
International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) monthly report.

According to IATA, carriers in the region posted a 14.3
percent uptick in demand, which was evenly matched by a 14.4 percent rise in
available capacity. Load factors were above the global average, at 78.6
percent.

IATA attributed the increases during January to carriers
successfully tapping into demand for air travel from emerging markets through
their strong networks and efficient hubs.

Operators in Latin America were the second best performers
globally, IATA said, with a hike in demand of 12.2 percent and a rise in
capacity of 13.7 percent. The report said reduced unemployment had bolstered
demand for international air travel in countries such as Bolivia, Chile,
Columbia and Peru.

In Africa demand outstripped supply, with the former up by
9.4 percent and capacity rising by just 5.8 percent. IATA attributed rising
demand to strong economic growth in resource rich West African
countries.

Growth in demand across Asia-Pacific carriers was distorted
by the timing of Chinese New Year, the report said. After adjustment for
seasonal factors, demand rose 3 percent.

European airlines were among the weaker performers, showing
2.1 percent growth in demand alongside an expansion in capacity of 0.4 percent.

On a worldwide basis, demand for air travel crept up 2.7
percent, slightly ahead of a 2.2 percent rise in capacity. The average global
load factor was at 77.1 percent during January.

“Passenger travel is growing in line with business confidence
levels. Recent months have seen some positive economic signs emerge in both the
US and China, and the euro zone crisis seems to have stabilised,” said Tony
Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

“Of course risks remain; the impact of US budget cuts has yet
to play out and fuel prices are high. But even with those headwinds - real and
potential -we still see underlying support for continued and potentially even
strengthened growth.”

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