Looks like air travel wasn’t a priority for many in 2018 — year-on-year growth in passenger traffic grew 6.5 per cent but down on the 8 per cent attained in 2017. The slip in demand was reflected in the data for Middle East airlines as well — traffic increased 4.2 per cent in 2018, but down from the 6.9 per cent growth in 2017.

It was the second year in a row of moderating demand growth.

In December, global passenger traffic was up 5.3 per cent from what it was a year ago, but that was still the slowest year-on-year pace since January 2018, according to the latest estimates from IATA (International Air Transport Association).

The December figure shows a continuation of a trend that saw demand gains decelerate to 5 per cent over the second-half of 2018 compared to the 9 per cent on average in the first-half. “The deceleration in growth reflects the impact of policy measures and geopolitical tensions, including travel restrictions and the temporary ban on large portable electronic devices,” IATA’s report said.

“We expect similar, if somewhat moderating performance, in 2019,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director-general and CEO. “Nevertheless, slowing growth in the second-half of 2018, coupled with concerns over issues including Brexit and US-China trade tensions are creating some uncertainty to this positive outlook.”

Growth in passenger demand for travel slowed down in 2018 compared to 2017, according to the latest report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).