Passenger demand maintained steady growth rates in 2013
The Middle East region records strongest performance
February 9, 2014 11:36 by kippreport
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced full-year traffic results for 2013 on February 6, which reveals a 5.2 per cent increase in passenger demand when compared with 2012. Last year’s performance aligns with the average annual growth rate recorded in the past 30 years. Capacity rose by 4.8 per cent and load factor averaged at 79.5 per cent, which was up by 0.4 percentage points when compared with 2012.
Middle Eastern airlines recorded the strongest increase in passenger traffic in 2013, a rise of 12.1 per cent when compared with 2012, but below the 15.4 per cent growth recorded in 2012. Carriers in the region have benefitted from the continued strength of regional economies, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and solid growth in business-related premium travel, particularly to developing markets such as Africa. However, capacity grew faster by 12.8 per cent and load factor declined slightly by 0.1 percentage points, reaching 77.3 per cent from 77.4 per cent in 2012.
Demand in international markets (5.4 per cent) expanded at a slightly faster rate than domestic travel (4.9 per cent). Carriers in the Middle East region (11.4 per cent), followed by the Asia-Pacific region (7.1 per cent), Latin America (6.3 per cent) and Africa (5.2 per cent) recorded the strongest overall growth. The slowest growth was in the developed markets of North America (2.3 per cent) and Europe (3.8 per cent).
“We saw a healthy demand growth in 2013, despite a difficult economic environment. There was a clear improvement over the course of the year, which bodes well for 2014. Last year’s demand performance demonstrates the essential and growing role that aviation-enabled connectivity plays in our world. And with system-wide load factors at 79.5 per cent, it is also clear that airlines are continuing to drive efficiencies to an ever higher level,” says Tony Tyler, IATA’s director-general and CEO.
Commercial aviation is celebrating its first centennial anniversary in 2014. The first passenger flight took place in 1908, when Wilbur Wright took an employee along for a ride. KLM is the oldest carrier in the world, as it began operation in 1919.