Passenger demand growth registered by Middle East carriers fell sharply to 4.8 percent in July, well down on the 11.2 percent growth recorded during the previous month.
The International Air Transport Authority (IATA) said the significant decrease was mainly attributable to volatility in the data a year ago rather than any major new developments.
It added that the region has been negatively impacted by a number of policy measures over the past 18 months, including the ban on portable electronic devices and travel restrictions.
July capacity climbed 6.5 percent compared to a year ago and load factor dropped 1.3 percent to 80.3 percent.
Globally, IATA announced healthy global passenger demand for July averaging 6.2 percent compared to the same month last year.
While this was down from 8.1 percent year-over-year growth in June, it marked a solid start to the peak passenger demand season, IATA said. Monthly capacity increased by 5.5 percent and load factor rose 0.6 percent to a record high for July of 85.2 percent.
“The industry posted another month of solid traffic growth. And the record load factor shows that airlines are becoming even more efficient in terms of deploying capacity to meet demand. However, rising costs – particularly fuel – will likely limit the stimulus we would expect from lower airfares. Therefore, we do expect to see a continued slowing of growth compared to 2017,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
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