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Middle East passenger demand soars in 2014
International Air Transport Association reveals traffic increase in January
March 6, 2014 4:21 by kippreport
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for January 2014, revealing a strong increase in demand. Total revenue passenger kilometres rose by eight per cent, when compared with January 2013, which is an improvement over the December 2013 growth of 6.8 per cent and the 2013 full-year growth of 5.2 per cent. January capacity in 2014 increased by 6.7 per cent, pushing load factor up by 0.9 percentage points to 78.1 per cent.
“[This year] is off to a strong start, with travel demand accelerating over the healthy results achieved in 2013, which is in line with stronger growth in advanced economies and emerging market regions,” says Tony Tyler, IATA’s director-general and CEO.
International passenger demand in January 2014 was up by 7.8 per cent, when compared with the same period in 2013, with airlines in all regions recording growth and the strongest gains in the Middle East region. Capacity also rose by 6.8 per cent and load factor climbed by 0.7 percentage points to 78.3 per cent.
Demand for Middle Eastern carriers soared by 18.1 per cent in January 2014 – the strongest growth worldwide. Capacity climbed by 15 per cent compared with the same month in 2013, and load factor increased by 2.2 percentage points to 81.1 per cent, which is also the highest globally. Middle Eastern carriers are benefitting from the strength of regional economies and solid growth in business-related premium travel, supported by the performance of international trading industries and key economies, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Domestic travel demand rose by 8.2 per cent in January 2014, when compared with last year, and several markets reported double-digit growth. Total domestic capacity was up by 6.5 per cent and load factor rose by 1.2 percentage points to 77.7 per cent.
“The second century of commercial aviation has begun on a positive note, with air traffic demand rising in line with generally positive economic indicators. While this is in line with an improved overall outlook for 2014, aviation remains highly vulnerable to external shocks. Rising geopolitical tensions around the world have the potential to cast shadows on this optimistic outlook,” concludes Tyler.