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ME air passenger traffic growth slows down

|By TAP Staff| Middle East carriers recorded a 9.9% increase in passenger traffic demand in September, well down on the 13.7% year-over year growth experienced in August,  International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced.

Capacity rose 12.9% and load factor slipped 2.1 percentage points to 75.7%. Major economies in the region, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have experienced slowdowns in non-oil sectors, it pointed out. However, the rates of growth remain robust, IATA said.

Global passenger traffic results for September showed solid demand growth compared to September 2014 for domestic and international traffic.

Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 7.3% compared to the year-ago period, slightly above the 7.1% growth achieved in August. September capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.6%, and load factor rose 0.5 percentage points to 80.7%.

“The demand for air travel in September was robust—even with the economic slowdown in some key emerging markets such as China. The industry seems set for a positive end to 2015,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

September international passenger demand rose 7.0% compared to September 2014, with airlines in all regions recording growth. Total capacity climbed 6.9%, and load factor edged up 0.1 percentage points to 80.5%.

European carriers saw demand increase by 7.1%, supported by economic recovery in the region. Capacity climbed 6.6% and load factor rose 0.4 percentage points to 85.1%, highest among the regions.

Asia-Pacific airlines’ September traffic rose 6.8% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased 5.9% and load factor climbed 0.7 percentage points to 77.0%. The healthy performance occurred in spite of notable declines in trade activity in Emerging Asia as well as slower than expected growth in China.