Middle East carriers lead global aviation growth
Middle East airlines claimed the strongest passenger growth worldwide in the latest data revealed by the global aviation industry body.
Traffic for Middle East carriers jumped 11.7 per cent in November, from a year earlier, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said.
The growth was supported by the region’s economies that are “well-placed to withstand plunging oil revenues”, according to Iata.
The UAE’s Energy Minister this week told The National that the oil price slump could stimulate global economic growth this year.
“The current oil prices could encourage world economic growth higher than the expected, which could drive demand upward,” said Suhail Al Mazrouei.
Middle East carriers recorded a 12.9 per cent growth freight volumes in November, with regional hubs offering good connectivity for long-haul freight shipments, Iata said on Wednesday.
Globally, international passenger demand advanced 5.4 per cent in November, compared with a year earlier. All regions except Africa saw a year-over-year increase in demand. However, growth had slowed in most regions compared with October.
“While lower oil prices should be positive for economic activity, softening business confidence is having a dampening effect on international travel,” said Tony Tyler, Iata’s chief executive.
Passenger growth in and out of the region has been spurred by the addition of new routes from the Arabian Gulf’s big three carriers – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.
Emirates said that it would begin flying two A380 services each day to Manchester. The carrier’s existing service between Dubai and Manchester is currently operated by a Boeing 777. After replacing that and adding the second daily A380, half of Emirates’ 16 daily flights to the UK will be operated by the superjumbo.
The second daily A380 will increase Emirates’ capacity from Manchester by 13 per cent, with more than 20 per cent of this increase in the premium cabins.
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