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Thu 3 May 2018 04:04 PM

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MidEast air passenger demand growth soars 10.7% in March

Improved performance comes on back of healthy growth on routes to Asia, stabilisation of US routes

MidEast air passenger demand growth soars 10.7% in March
Dubai International Airport. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Passenger demand growth registered by Middle East airlines soared to 10.7 percent in March, according to new figures.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said March growth was much improved from the 4.1 percent year-over-year increase recorded in the previous month.

It added that this reflects healthy growth in the market between the Middle East and Asia while demand also shows signs of stabilisation on Middle East to North America routes, following the disruption caused in the first half of 2017 by the now-lifted ban on large portable electronic devices, as well as a wider impact stemming from the proposed travel restrictions to the US.

IATA said capacity increased 4.3 percent, and load factor jumped 4.4 percent to 76.7 percent.

Globally, IATA said passenger traffic demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometres) rose 9.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago, the fastest pace in 12 months.

Capacity grew 6.4 percent and load factor climbed 2.3 percent to 82.4 peercent, which set a record for the month, following on the record set in February. All regions except for the Middle East posted record load factors.

"Demand for air travel remains strong, supported by the comparatively healthy economic backdrop and business confidence levels. But rising cost inputs—particularly fuel prices—suggest that any demand boosts from lower fares will moderate going into the second quarter," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

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