Healthy passenger demand growth on key routes to Asia and Europe boosted traffic for Gulf-based airlines in April, according to latest figures.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Middle East carriers saw demand rise by 4.1 percent in April while capacity climbed 3.2 percent and load factor rose 0.7 percent to 77.2 percent.
IATA said the seasonally-adjusted upward trend in traffic has strengthened since the start of the year, aided by healthy growth on the key routes to/from Asia and Europe, as well as continuing signs of recovery on the market segment to/from North America.
It added that annual comparisons are likely to become more favorable in coming months, owing to the disruptions caused by the proposed travel bans to the US and the since-lifted ban on large portable electronic devices in the year-ago period.
Globally, IATA said passenger demand rose by 6.2 percent compared to April 2017, which was down from a 12-month high of 9.7 percent in March.
April capacity increased by 5.9 percent, and load factor climbed 0.2 percent to 82.3 percent, which was a record for the month of April, surpassing last year’s record of 82.1 percent.
"Demand for air transport continues to be above the long-term trend. However, increases in airline cost inputs, most notably fuel prices, means that we are unlikely to see increased stimulation from lower fares in 2018, compared to previous years," 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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