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Tue 2 Mar 2010 02:48 PM

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Mideast carriers see 23% growth in Jan demand

Region's airlines continue to top global aviation industry performance in 2010.

Middle East airlines continued to outperform their global rivals in January, according to latest figures released on Tuesday by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Compared to the previous year, January passenger demand was up more than 23 percent in the region compared to a worldwide average rise of 6.4 percent.

Globally, a 1.2 percent increase in passenger capacity in January pushed load factors to 75.9 percent (compared 72.2 percent recorded for January 2009).  

International cargo demand showed a 28.3 percent improvement with only a 3.7 percent increase in capacity, IATA said in a statement.

“Airlines have lost 2-3 years of growth. Demand is moving in the right direction. The 3 percent increase in freight volumes from December to January is particularly encouraging," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and CEO.

"We can start to see the future with some cautious optimism, but better volumes do not necessarily mean better profits. Passenger yields are still 15 percent below peak. And we expect 2010 losses to be $5.6 billion,” he added.

There were large geographical differences in the improvements with the strongest upturns seen in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

While Middle East carriers saw growth accelerate by 23.6 percent in January, Asia-Pacific carriers experienced a 6.5 percent increase in demand compared to the previous year while Latin American airlines saw demand increase by 11 percent.

Carriers in North America and Europe saw demand increase by 2.1 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

Compared to the low point in the cycle (February 2009) international passenger traffic was up 8.6 percent in January.

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KBS 10 years ago

AB articles are typically well written. But this article falls short in some important ways. It repeatedly references "demand" and "passenger demand," but doesn't make clear if it's referencing physical traffic, revenue (physical traffic net of price change), revenue per passenger, revenue per seat, profit, etc. I know from this article the SOMETHING was up 23%, but I'm not sure what it was that was up 23%.