By Andy Sambidge
Demand climbs by 10.3%, the largest increase for any region, and nearly double the global average for month
Middle East airlines reported another month of double digit passenger demand growth in October although load factor fell during the month, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA),
The region's carriers saw demand climb by 10.3 percent in October, the largest increase for any region, IATA said in a statement.
The aviation authority said the growth reflected strong regional economies with rising export activity that supports regional trade and related international business travel.
It added that capacity climbed 13.5 percent, causing load factor to fall 2.1 percent to 73.5 percent.
Globally, IATA announced total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 5.7 percent over October, slightly ahead of the 5.2 percent year-on-year rise recorded in September.
October capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.5 percent, causing load factor to rise 0.1 percent to 79.1 percent.
“Against a backdrop of economic weakness in some regions, October traffic results show demand for connectivity remains strong on a global basis,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
“With 2014 drawing to a close the outlook for air travel remains positive, as improvements in economies in Asia-Pacific and the US offset signs of weakness in the Eurozone and China. Falling oil prices, if sustained, should provide a much-needed operating cushion for airlines, but sluggish demand for oil in key markets could indicate a broader economic slowdown. Rising political instability is also a cause for concern,” he said.