Middle East airlines see 18% demand growth in June

MidEast carriers strongest performers in spite of capacity increase

Travel, Iata, International air transport association

Middle East carriers were the strongest performers in the world in June with demand growth of 18.2 percent outstripping a capacity expansion of 13.4 percent, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Load factors for the region's airlines stood at 78.6 percent for the month, it added in a statement.

In contrast to the global market, the growth trend in the Middle East has been robust throughout 2012, gaining a further 1.9 percent in June compared to May.

Middle East carriers also recorded strong growth in cargo with a 17.9 percent increase in demand against a 14.2 percent increase in capacity.

IATA said the region's airlines have been adding capacity to meet the need for moving goods between the Middle East and Africa and also toward Europe and Asia.

Globally, IATA said June showed a continued slowing of growth in the demand for air transport, in line with weakness in business and consumer confidence.

Year-on-year, demand for air travel in June expanded by 6.2 percent while capacity grew by a much more cautious 4.5 percent leaving load factors at 81 percent.

"While this appears to be a healthy growth rate, the growth trend since early 2012 has seen a slowdown," IATA said.

June air freight volumes recorded a 0.8 percent increase compared to the previous year. This brings seasonally adjusted June demand about 2.5 percent above the low reached in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “The uncertainty that we see in the global economic situation is being reflected in air transport’s performance.

"Although there are some pockets of solid performance, it is difficult to detect a strong trend—positive or negative—at the global level.

"Passenger markets have been growing more slowly since the beginning of the year and freight markets gains have been mostly very weak."

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