Airlines in the Middle East registered the slowest growth in the world during February amid sluggish demand from passengers, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Middle East carriers recorded a 3.4 percent demand increase in February compared to a year ago, less than half the growth seen in Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia Pacific.
Capacity rose 3.9 percent during February and load factor slipped 0.3 percent to 74.1 percent.
"Carriers in the region faced significant headwinds over the past year including the temporary ban on large portable electronic devices as well as the proposed travel bans to the US from some countries in the region," IATA said in a statement.
Globally, IATA said passenger traffic results for February showed a rebound in traffic growth following the slower demand experienced in January.
Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) for the month rose 7.6 percent, compared to February, up from 4.6 percent year-over-year growth in January. Monthly capacity increased by 6.3 percent, and load factor rose 0.9 percent to 80.4 percent, surpassing the previous record for the month of 79.5 percent, which was set in February 2017.
"As expected, we saw a return to stronger demand growth in February, after the temporary slowdown in January. This is being supported by the robust economic backdrop and solid business confidence. However, increases in fuel prices - and labor costs in some countries - likely will temper the amount of traffic stimulation from lower airfares this year," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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