The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday international air passenger traffic rose 3.5% in July year-on-year with Middle East airlines experiencing strong growth rate of 11.2% compared to the same month last year.
The Middle Eastern airlines, home to major international carriers including Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, outstripped rivals in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Africa in terms of passenger numbers, in part due to the impact of the Ramadan holy month and a 12.4% rise in capacity, the global air travel association’s latest monthly data showed.
On a month-by-month basis, however, passenger traffic growth was just 0.1% in the region.
On a global basis, international passenger traffic rose by 3.5% during the month compared to the year ago period, exactly in line with a 3.5% increase in airline capacity, although significantly slower than the 7.5% year-on-year rise witnessed in June.
“It becomes clear that since early this year the pace of air travel expansion has slowed, largely as a result of falling business confidence and world trade,” IATA said in a statement.
Passenger load factors stood at 83.3%.
In terms of cargo, Middle Eastern carriers experienced a 16 percent rise in traffic on the back of an 11% increase in capacity, helping boost loads factors 2 percentage points to 45.3%. Middle Eastern carriers reported the best growth rates for both passenger and freight traffic, while North American airlines reported negative figures for both sectors, IATA said.