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US ROUTE HIT HARD

ME carriers see slowdown in air travel demand

GENEVA, November 3, 2017

Middle East carriers posted a 3.7 per cet rise in demand in September, the slowest rate of increase since February 2009.

Accordiing to figures released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata), the Middle East-US market has been hit hard by the now lifted cabin ban on large portable electronic devices, as well as the various proposed travel bans to the US. Traffic between the region and the US has fallen for six consecutive months through August (the most recent month for which route data are available).

Capacity rose 4.3 per cent, and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 74.5 per cent.

Asia-Pacific airlines posted the strongest traffic growth across all regions in September, with an 8.7 per cent year-over-year increase, followed by Latin American airlines (8.5 per cent), European carriers(7.1 per cent), Middle East carriers (3.7 per cent), African airlines (3.6 per cent) and lastly North America carriers (3 per cent).

Overall, international traffic demand climbed 6.5 per cent, with airlines in all regions recording growth compared to 2016. Total capacity climbed 5.6 per cent, and load factor rose 0.7 percentage points to 81.3 per cent.

Domestic demand rose 4.2 per cent in September compared to the same month in 2016, heavily affected by weather disruptions in the US market, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of all domestic demand.

India and China continued to lead all markets with double-digit annual traffic increases while elsewhere, results were mixed.

US domestic traffic fell 1.2 per cent, reflecting the hurricane impacts. With operations at affected major airports having returned to normal, it appears the disruption will be short-lived.

Japan’s domestic traffic also took a weather-related hit as Typhoon Talim caused a significant slowing of traffic growth from the 8.8 per cent recorded in August to 3.6 per cent in September. As with the US, the impact is expected to be temporary.

Domestic capacity rose 4.7 per cent and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 82.2 per cent.

Global passenger demand rose 5.7 per cent compared to the same month in 2016. This was the slowest year-on-year increase since February. Hurricanes Irma and Maria weighed heavily on the results, although growth already had been tapering. Capacity climbed 5.3 per cent and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage points to 81.6 per cent, which was a record for the month of September.

"September’s growth in passenger demand was healthy, notwithstanding the heavy impacts of extreme weather events on the Americas," said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and CEO. "Global economic conditions support rising passenger demand, but with higher cost inputs, the demand stimulation from lower fares has waned, suggesting a moderating trend in traffic growth."   

De Juniac expressed the aviation industry’s solidarity with the victims of the hurricanes, and emphasised the importance of aviation’s ability to deliver aid and support. "Our hearts go out to all those affected by the recent extreme weather events, which uprooted lives and communities and dealt heavy blows to local economies in the affected areas. It is at times like these that we truly see the vital role that aviation plays in disaster relief, bringing in much needed first responders and aid workers, as well as supplies, food and medicines to those in need," de Juniac said. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: demand | travel | growth | Passenger | Carrier | ME | Air |

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