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Thu 8 Jan 2009 12:00 PM

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Mideast continues to buck air passenger slump

Region sees 8% increase in numbers in Nov, compared to 8% decline globally.

The Middle East reported strong air passenger traffic in November, bucking the general slump among most other regions, according to latest figures.

Air traveller figures in this region climbed eight percent compared with the same period in 2007.

In contrast, the Airports International Council revealed world passenger traffic was down eight percent that month.

Africa registered a five percent increase in traffic, but Europe, Asia Pacific and North America reported notable declines of six percent, 11 percent and four percent respectively.

The ACI report said: “International traffic, previously the driver of robust growth during the first half of 2008, decreased in November by 5.8 percent, and worldwide domestic traffic dropped by 8.5 percent for the month."

The economic downturn was blamed for the passenger traffic slump, with the US, South Korea, Japan and UK worse hit. Elsewhere, India and Thailand suffered following political protests, an airport closure in Bangkok and terror attacks in Mumbai.

Double digit declines in domestic and international traffic hit South Africa’s traveller figures.

Meanwhile, Italian hubs were affected by Alitalia’s instability, with new high-speed train connections reducing Spain’s air passenger figures.

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Jack 11 years ago

But it would be interesting to note how much of that increase in traffic was people leaving the area for good as they have been laid of of their jobs. In other regions, when someone gets laid off, they merely drive home. Here you get kicked out of the country and have to fly home, thus driving up air travel

Martin 11 years ago

Well since in this region there are more expats than locals and the Holiday season coming up no wonder so many fly home to see the family.

worried 11 years ago

Maybe people are actually taking Mounir's advice to find the nearest airport??