Dubai: Middle Eastern airlines saw a 4.9 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger demand in November 2017, according to figures issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The increase in demand in the Middle East was the lowest among other regions, with Asia Pacific recording the strongest increase of 11.3 per cent year-on-year.
Meanwhile, airlines in Africa saw a 5.6 per cent increase in passenger traffic, as North American and Latin American carriers saw traffic rise 5.4 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively.
In its report, IATA said that airlines in the Middle East continue to be affected by the now-lifted ban on personal electronic devices on board direct flights to the US, as well as the wider impact of travel restrictions to the US from certain countries.
In November, capacity for Middle Eastern airlines rose 4.3 per cent, while the load factor inched up 0.4 percentage points to 70.1 per cent.
“The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. We expect 2018 to be the fourth year in a row where the industry’s return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and chief executive officer.
He added in the report, “Challenges, however, remain. Security threats continue. Infrastructure issues persist. Fees and charges are a growing part of the cost base. And in many cases, airports and air traffic management struggle to keep pace with demand and technology advancements. These and other challenges can only be addressed in partnership with governments.”