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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 04/04/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Gulf nations enjoying rise in non-oil sectors of their economies

Middle east carriers had the strongest year-over-year traffic growth in february at 13.4 per cent as airlines continued to benefit from the strength of regional economies and solid growth in business-related premium travel the international air transport association or iata said on thursday.

An emirates plane lands at logan international airport in boston. international passenger traffic rose 5.5 per cent in february compared to the year-ago period. — ap

The gulf nations in particular are enjoying acceleration in non-oil sectors of their economies further supporting strong demand for air travel. capacity rose 12.5 per cent and load factor climbed 0.6 percentage points to 78.9 per cent iata said as it observed continuing solid demand for air travel across the globe.

The organisation which represents some 240 airlines comprising 84 per cent of global air traffic said global travel grew 5.4 per cent compared to february 2013. “although this represented a slowdown compared to the january traffic increase of 8.2 per cent cumulative traffic growth for the first two months of 2014 was 6.9 per cent which compares favourably with the 5.2 per cent overall growth achieved in 2013.”

February capacity rose 5.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.2 percentage points to 78.1 per cent. all regions except africa experienced positive traffic growth it noted.

“people are flying. strong demand is consistent with the pick-up in global economic growth particularly in advanced economies.” said tony tyler iata’s director general and ceo.

International passenger traffic rose 5.5 per cent in february compared to the year-ago period. capacity rose 5.8 per cent and load factor slipped 0.2 percentage points to 76.8 per cent. all regions recorded year-over-year increases in demand.

Domestic marketsose 5.3 per cent in february compared to a year ago. total domestic capacity was up 4.1 per cent and load factor rose 0.9 percentage points to 80.4 per cent.

“growth was especially strong in the developing economies of brazil china and russia with all three recording double-digit increases in demand compared to the year-ago period” it said.

India was the only domestic market to see a contraction in demand. traffic fell 1.8 per cent in february compared to february 2013. subdued consumer sentiment ahead of the upcoming election as well as elevated fare levels compared to a year ago are likely exerting downward pressure on demand.

“the strong demand for air travel at a time of rising business and consumer confidence is indicative of the symbiotic relationship between aviation and economic growth. the connectivity provided by aviation both enables and sustains trade and development while economic activity creates demand for aviation. governments that treat aviation as if it were a luxury item — or a necessary evil--are depriving their populations of a key engine of growth and job creation” said tyler.

In march iata said the ukraine crisis and economic worries in latin america had prompted the airline industry to trim 1 billion off its global profit forecast for 2014.

The geneva-based organisation now expects airlines to make a profit of 18.7 billion this year down from 19.7 billion in its previous forecast in december but the industry remains on an upswing after a 12.9 billion profit in 2013.

One main blame is higher fuel costs iata said. it now expects crude oil prices to average 108 a barrel (brent) up 3.50 from its previous projection.

Even so the 18.7 billion would represent a 45 per cent jump from 2013’s profit and would be three times the industry’s 2012 profit. in a speech iata said in its forecast.

— issacjohn?khaleejtimes.com


Khaleej Times

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