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Tue 2 Mar 2004 04:00 AM

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Traffic up 24.9% in Middle East

Middle East airlines have made a strong start to 2004, registering 24.9% year-on-year growth in January.

Middle East airlines have made a strong start to 2004, registering 24.9% year-on-year growth in January, according to the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO). In December 2003, carriers in the region record 8.1% growth compared to December 2002.

January’s figures are the strongest recorded by the AACO members since October 2002. The growth was driven by a combination of high demand in January, especially with business traffic seeking opportunities in Iraq, and by the fact that demand was low in January 2003 because of the build-up to the war in Iraq.

According to AACO, traffic between the Arab region and other parts of the world was up by 19.4% in January, while intra Arab passenger traffic grew by 36.8%. The number of seats offered by Arab carriers has also gone up by 7.8%, but the number offered by non-Arab carriers flying into the region fell by 2.2%, leading to a total year-on-year growth of 4.3%.

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