MidEast airline demand rebounds from near-9 year low

Middle East carriers experienced a 6.9 percent rise in demand in October, improved from 3.9 percent in September, which was the slowest rate of increase since February 2009.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said capacity increased 5.3 percent, and load factor climbed 1 percent to 69.6 percent, adding that as in Europe, the upward trend in demand has slowed in the region.

Demand to and from North America fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month in September – the most recent month for which route-specific figures are available – and it remains the only international market not to have grown in annual terms this year.

Traffic has been heavily affected by the now-lifted ban on portable electronic devices, as well as from the proposed travel bans to the US, IATA noted.

Globally, IATA said demand – measured in revenue passenger kilometres, or RPKs – rose 7.2 percent compared to the same month last year. Capacity grew 6.2 percent and load factor climbed 0.8 percent to 80.8 percent, which was a record for the month.

October’s performance was a strong bounce-back after the hurricane-related disruptions in September. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance.

“As expected, the recent severe weather in the Americas region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

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