Mideast passenger demand growth hits 8.5-year low: IATA

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Sunday Middle East carriers witnessed a 3.7 percent rise in passenger demand in September, marking the slowest rate of increase since February 2009 as the Middle East-U.S. market had been hit hard by the now lifted cabin ban on large portable electronic devices.

Various proposed travel bans to the U.S. traffic from some Middle Eastern countries also weighed on demand in the region, said IATA.

The report added that air traffic between the region and the U.S. has fallen for six consecutive months through August (the most recent month for which route data are available).

Globally, passenger demand rose 5.7 percent in September compared to the same month in 2016. “This was the slowest year-on-year increase since February. Hurricanes Irma and Maria weighed heavily on the results,” said IATA.

“Global economic conditions support rising passenger demand, but with higher cost inputs, the demand stimulation from lower fares has waned, suggesting a moderating trend in traffic growth,” said IATA CEO and Director-General Alexandre de Juniac.

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