Middle East carriers have seen passenger demand rising 4.1% year-on-year in April, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.
Capacity climbed 3.2% and load factor rose 0.7 percentage point to 77.2%. The seasonally-adjusted upward trend in traffic has strengthened since the start of the year, aided by healthy growth on the key routes to/from Asia and Europe, as well as continuing signs of recovery on the market segment to/from North America, IATA said in a report yesterday.
Annual comparisons are likely to become more favourable in coming months, owing to the disruptions caused by the proposed travel bans to the US and the since-lifted ban on large portable electronic devices in the year-ago period, IATA said.
Releasing the global passenger traffic data for April, IATA said the demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 6.2% compared to April 2017, which was down from a 12-month high of 9.7% in March.
Comparisons with the year ago period are impacted by developments a year ago — including the comparatively late timing of Easter in 2017, which boosted April traffic. April capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.9%, and load factor climbed 0.2 percentage point to 82.3%, which was a record for the month of April, surpassing last year’s record of 82.1%.
April international passenger demand rose 4.8% compared to April 2017. All regions recorded year-over-year traffic increases but all were behind the pace of growth reported in March. Total capacity climbed 4.9%, and load factor slipped 0.1 percentage point to 81.4%.
Demand for domestic travel climbed 8.5% in April compared to April 2017, propelled by double-digit annual growth in India and China, capacity increased 7.6%, and load factor rose 0.7 percentage point to 84.0%. All markets reported demand increases.
IATA’s director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said, "Demand for air transport continues to be above the long-term trend. However, increases in airline cost inputs, most notably fuel prices, mean that we are unlikely to see increased stimulation from lower fares in 2018, compared to previous years."
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