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Mideast airlines see 11% growth in industry’s ‘worst year’

Regional carriers buck the trend in what was a dismal year for the global airline industry.

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January 27, 2010 4:50 by



Middle Eastern airlines saw passenger demand climb 11.3 percent in 2009, the only area in the world to report significant growth in what was a dismal year for the aviation industry.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), last year saw the biggest decline in air passenger traffic in the post-war era, with passenger traffic down by 3.5 percent from 2008, and freight traffic down by 10.1 percent.

“In terms of demand, 2009 goes into the history books as the worst year the industry has ever seen,” said IATA boss Giovanni Bisignani.

While December showed a rise in global traffic of 1.6 percent on a year ago, the IATA said that 2010 would be a year of “enormous challenges”.

Asia-Pacific and North American carriers saw demand fall by 5.8 percent in 2009, while European airlines suffered a 5 percent fall in demand. African airlines suffered the most in 2009, with passenger demand down 6.8 percent. Latin American airlines experienced a 0.3 percent rise.

The only region to report a significant rise was the Middle East, led by flagship carriers Emirates and Etihad.



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