IATA Report Indicates Stronger Aviation Demand in the Middle East

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Dubai International started 2014 with record 6.4 million passengers in January. The IATA report on commuter traffic for the month February, 2014, indicated growth for the Middle Eastern aviation sector leading to more expected positives. Photo courtesy- Dubai Airports

Statistics for commuter traffic for February, released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), showed a surge in the demand for the aviation transportation with a percentage increase of about 5.4 percent. This increase has been placed in context to the commuter traffic trend for February, in the previous year.

But while this percentage count has been looked with quite favourableness, it also needs to be pinpointed that commuter traffic in the aviation sector for the month of January this year was as high as 8.2 percent which indicates that the percentage trends for February have slipped down by a few notches. There again, in totality, clubbing the percentage trends for January and February this year, there has been an increase in the commuter traffic percentage of about 6.9 percent.

This upbeat trend in the commuter traffic was prevalent for all major countries across five continents. The only geographic location the aviation sector didn’t fare as well was Africa though the CEO of IATA, Mr. Tony Tyler, was quick to reassure about the ensuing continuity of this positive global trend in the aviation domain by terming, “People are flying. Strong demand is consistent with the pick-up in global economic growth, particularly in advanced economies.”

For the Middle Eastern region this has translated to mean the following:

  • Solidest traffic growth in terms of year-over-year traffic and demand generation in February at about 13.4 percent
  • Surge in loading capacity of about 12.5 percent
  • Growth of about 0.6 percentage points in the loading factor accounting for an overall increase of about 78.9 percentage points

These increases in the Middle Eastern aviation sector are primarily on account of driven developments in the non-oil based economic and industrial domains which have in turn fuelled the overall demand and need for air transportation. It is thus expected that these solid aviation trends will continue to positively impact and affect the entirety of the Middle Eastern region.

Summarising in Mr. Tyler’s own words, “The strong demand for air travel at a time of rising business and consumer confidence is indicative of the symbiotic relationship between aviation and economic growth. The connectivity provided by aviation both enables and sustains trade and development, while economic activity creates demand for aviation. Governments that treat aviation as if it were a luxury item–or a necessary evil–are depriving their populations of a key engine of growth and job creation.”

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