Middle East airlines managed double-digit growth in passenger demand last month, despite a 3.1 per cent global decline, according to data from the International Air Traffic Association (IATA). The Middle East saw an 11.2 per cent rise in passenger demand compared with the same month last year, and airline capacity in the region increased by 12.3 per cent. Latin America was the only other region to experience growth in passenger demand, with a rise of 7.5 per cent outstripping a capacity rise of 6 per cent, the IATA said.
European carriers saw a 2.7 per cent decrease in passenger numbers and a 2.6 per cent decline in capacity adjustment, while the Asia Pacific had an 8.6 per cent fall in demand and a capacity adjustment of minus 7.4 per cent. Africa's carriers experienced a 7.1 per cent fall in demand and a 5 per cent capacity cut. In March, the IATA dramatically lowered its forecast for Middle-Eastern airlines and predicted they could lose US$900 million (Dh3.3 billion) this year, partly because of growing capacity and fuel contracts based on high oil prices. The expected loss was more than four times IATA's forecast three months ago of $200m.