Middle East carriers registered the strongest international traffic growth across all regions in June, reporting an 11 per cent rise in demand compared to a year ago.
According to figures released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata), this was a sharp turnaround from the flat traffic growth in May, which was partly attributable to the timing of Ramadan between the two years.
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Results were also affected by unfavourable developments in the year-ago period, including the ban on large portable electronic devices, as well as the travel restrictions imposed by the US for visitors from certain Middle East and African countries.
Middle East carriers reported a capacity increase of 8.0 per cent in June and also witnessed load factor climb 1.9 percentage points to 71.0 per cent for the same month.
Globally, international passenger demand rose 7.7 per cent compared to June 2017. All regions recorded growth, led by airlines in the Middle East and Africa. Capacity climbed 5.9 per cent, and load factor increased 1.4 percentage points to 81.9 per cent.
Demand for domestic travel climbed 7.9 per cent in June compared to June 2017, up somewhat from the 6.7 per cent annual growth seen in May. June capacity increased 7.5 per cent, and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to 84.5 per cent. Led once again by double-digit gains in India and China, all markets reported demand increases, but with wide variation.
Global passenger traffic results for June showed that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose by 7.8 per cent compared to June 2017. This was up from 6.0 per cent year-over-year growth recorded in both May and April. June capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 6.5 per cent, and load factor rose 1.0 percentage point to 82.8 per cent.
The first six months of 2018 produced demand growth of 7.0 per cent, a strong performance, but down from 8.3 per cent growth recorded in the first half of 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. But the looming prospect of a global trade war is casting a long shadow. Additionally, rising cost inputs—fuel prices have soared by approximately 60 per cent over the past year—are reducing the stimulus of lower fares,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and CEO. – TradeArabia News Service