Passenger demand for Middle East airlines rises in June

IATA statistics show a sharp turnaround in June from the flat growth for Middle East carriers recorded in May
Passenger demand for Middle East airlines rises in June
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Mon 13 Aug 2018 02:35 PM

There was an 11 percent increase in passenger demand in June among Middle East airlines compared to the same month in 2017, according to new statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

According to the statistics, the increase in demand for Middle East carriers represents a sharp turnaround from the flat growth in May, which IATA partly attributes to the timing of Ramadan between the two years.

IATA noted that the results were also affected by “unfavourable developments” in a year ago, such as the ban on large portable electronic devices and travel restrictions imposed by the US on visitors from a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Capacity rose 8 percent among Middle East carriers, while load factor climbed 1.9 percentage points to 71 percent.

The rise in demand among Middle Eastern carriers was the highest of any region, slightly above the 10.9 percent increase recorded among African carriers and the 9.5 percent recorded among Asia-Pacific airlines. European carriers reported a 6.1 percent increase in traffic, compared to 5.9 percent in North America and 5.6 percent in Latin America.

Globally, demand rose by 7.8 percent compared to the same month in 2017, up from 6 percent year-over-year growth recorded in April and May.

Global capacity was found to have risen 6.5 percent in June, while load factor rose 1 percentage point to 82.8 percent.

Overall, the first six months of 2018 saw demand rise by 7 percent, down from 8.3 percent recorded in H1 2017.

“The first half of 2018 concluded with another month of above-trend demand growth, which is a good indicator for the peak summer travel season in the northern hemisphere,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general and CEO. “But the looming prospect of a global trade war is casting a long shadow.”

De Juniac added that rising cost inputs – which have seen fuel prices go up approximately 60 percent over the past year – “are reducing the stimulus of lower fares.”

Lastly, IATA found that demand for domestic travel climbed 7.9 percent in June compared to June 2017, up from 6.7 percent annual growth seen in May. June capacity increased 7.5 percent and load factor rose slightly by 0.3 percent to 84.5 percent.

Every domestic market reported demand increases, with double digit gains reported in both India and China.

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