ME airlines top global traffic growth for July
Geneva, August 30, 2012
Middle East carriers experienced 11.2 per cent year-over-year growth in air travel during July, the highest among any region in the world, and air freight carriers recorded a 16 per cent increase in demand year-on-year while all other markets saw declines, a report said.
The region’s growth trends were impacted by Ramadan, which commenced in July this year, added the global air traffic results by the International Air Transport Association (Iata). Compared to June, the traffic in the Middle East region rose just 0.1 per cent, while the capacity grew by 12.4 per cent.
African airlines’ traffic climbed 5.2 per cent year-on-year, below a 6.3 per cent rise in capacity. Load factor was 73.1 per cent, by far the lowest of any region.
The continent’s airlines have seen strong growth of 10.8 per cent on average during the first half of the year. This has partly been a rebound from the Arab Spring, but also reflects the relative success of many African economies at present, the report said.
Globally, July passenger demand in aggregate was 3.4 per cent higher than the same month last year, compared to a 6.3 per cent increase in June and average growth of 6.5 per cent over the first half of the year. This slowdown in travel growth is being driven largely by the recent fall in business confidence in many economies.
July freight demand was 3.2 per cent lower than it was in the same month last year. This is down on the 0.1 per cent year-on-year growth rate of June. A large part of that decline was due to a comparison with a relatively strong July last year, but overall the trend in air freight is weak, in line with subdued world trade growth.
Airlines have responded to this slower growth environment by reducing the capacity added to markets, a move which has stabilized load factors at relatively high levels and provided some support for profitability in the face of high fuel prices.
In July passenger capacity rose 3.6 per cent, in line with the expansion of traffic, keeping the load factor at a relatively high 83.1 per cent.
“The uncertain economic outlook is having a negative impact on demand for air transport,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
“The cargo business is 3.2 per cent smaller than it was a year ago. And passenger markets—with the exception of Africa, China-domestic and the Middle East—saw demand fall from June to July. Overall passenger demand is still up 3.4 per cent on the previous July. But the growth trend is clearly slowing. This, along with rising fuel prices is likely to make it a tough second half of the year.”
“The huge success of the London Olympics was also an important reminder of the vital role that international aviation plays in bringing the world together and facilitating global mega-events. Now all eyes are on Brazil which will host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. And aviation will play a key role there as well,” said Tyler.
“It will take a team effort to ensure that Brazil’s aviation infrastructure is up for the challenge,” said Tyler. – TradeArabia News Service