TRAVEL GAZETTE – Civil aviation in the Middle East grew at the fastest pace in the world in May, as passenger demand rose 11.8 percent year on year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) .
Middle East carriers saw the capacity up by 15.6 percent year on year, while the load factor dropped 2.4 percentage points to 71.9 percent.
The load factor is defined as the ratio of the kilometers passengers effectively travel to the seat kilometers during a period and is regarded as an important parameter in civil aviation management.
Growth in capacity has now exceeded traffic growth in 18 of the past 20 months, added the IATA, which represents some 265 airlines comprising 83 percent of global air traffic.
Globally, passenger demand grew by 4.6 percent in May year on year, the same rate in April. African carriers post the second fastest speed of 9.5 percent, said the IATA.
Tony Tyler, the IATA’s Director General said after a very strong start this year, demand growth is slipping back toward regular levels, which were caused by different reasons, including terrorist activities and the fragile global economy.
He pointed out that the shocks of Istanbul and the economic fallout of the Brexit make it difficult to see an early uptick.