Mideast tops global air traffic growth in Jan

(AFP)

The Middle Eastern airlines led the road to growth in the global aviation sector in January 2010 recording a 23.6 per cent growth as the demand for international scheduled air traffic showed continuing improvement, according to the latest statistics revealed by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

The industry is, however, expected to remain "in the red" for 2010, Iata said yesterday in a statement. Globally, January passenger demand was up by 6.4 per cent against the corresponding year.

The Middle Eastern carriers "grew throughout the recession", stated Iata, adding that the recovery in global demand for air traffic gathered pace in January.

"There are large geographical differences in the improvements. The strongest upturns are seen in markets where economic recovery from the recession has been strongest – the Middle East, Asia and Latin America," according to the Iata statement.

Meanwhile, other global markets such as Asia-Pacific, Africa, North America and Europe, too, recorded an increase in demand. Asia-Pacific carriers witnessed a 6.5 per cent increase in demand, North America and Europe saw 2.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent increase respectively against the previous year.

"Airlines have lost 2-3 years of growth. Demand is moving in the right direction. We can start to see the future with some cautious optimism, but better volumes do not necessarily mean better profits. Passenger yields are still 15 per cent below peak and we expect 2010 losses to be $5.6 billion," Giovanni Bisignani, Iata's Director-General and CEO, said in a statement.

 

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