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Mideast airlines post 24% jump in Oct traffic: IATA

KUWAIT: Middle Eastern airlines posted a 24.1 percent rise in October 2023 traffic compared to a year ago. Capacity rose 22.2 percent and load factor climbed 1.2 percentage points to 80.6 percent. There was little impact at the regional and global levels from the Zionist entity’s war on Palestine despite reduced airline operations to/from the Zionist entity, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The industry body, which represents some 300 airlines, expects air traffic to double in the Middle East to 550 million annual passengers by 2040.

Meanwhile, Middle Eastern carriers had the strongest performance in October 2023, with a 10.9 percent year-on-year increase in cargo volumes, according to the report. “This was a significant improvement from the previous month’s performance (+2.5 percent), the IATA said in its latest data for October 2023 global air cargo markets.

Indicating that this is the third consecutive month of stronger year-on-year demand, the IATA report said that carriers in the region benefited from growth in the Middle East–Asia (+10.3 percent) and Middle East–Europe markets (+17.1 percent). Capacity increased 15 percent compared to October 2022, the report added. IATA in its report stated that Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes increase by 7.6 percent in October 2023 compared to the same month in 2022.

This performance was close to par with the previous month (+7.7 percent). Carriers in the region benefited from ongoing growth in international cargo ton-kilometers (CTK’s) on three major trade lanes: Africa-Asia (+16.7 percent, the greatest annual growth since May), Middle East-Asia (+10.3 percent) and Europe-Asia (+8.5 percent).

Available capacity for the region’s airlines increased by 30 percent compared to October 2022 as more belly capacity came online from the passenger side of the business (a year ago, the key Asian markets of Japan and China were still largely under severe COVID-19 travel restrictions). Global demand, measured in CTKs, increased by 3.8 percent compared to October 2022. For international operations, the demand lagged slightly at 3.5 percent. After a continuous 17-month decline, cargo yields ticked-up in September and continued into October with a 2.6 percent month-on-month gain, remaining well-above pre-pandemic levels , the report added.

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