Middle East airlines lead global growth in October
Middle East airlines led the world for growth in demand in October, with a 7.7 percent increase over the same month last year.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the region's carriers reported the strongest growth in demand against a capacity increase of 9.5 percent. Load factors stood at 74.8 percent, IATA added.
Middle East airlines also bucked a global decline in air cargo volumes last month, showing a 3.1 percent rise compared to a 4.7 percent fall.
Globally, IATA said passenger traffic showed a 3.6 percent rise over previous year levels.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “Cargo is the story of the month. Since mid-year the market has shrunk by almost 5 percent and this is far greater than the 1 percent fall in world trade."
In contrast to the decline in air freight, the trend for air travel remains upwards, but with very strong regional differences, IATA added in a statement.
Despite the deepening euro-zone crisis European carriers showed above trend demand growth of 6.4 percent in October.
Tyler added: “The economic prospects for 2012 are uncertain, but the track record of aviation’s ability to act as a catalyst for economic activity is rock-solid.
"Now is the time for governments to use aviation strategically in their efforts to put economies back on track."