Middle Eastern Airlines Record 19.7% Y-O-Y Increase In Passenger Demand In February: IATA

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Middle Eastern airlines have recorded a 19.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in passenger demand in February, IATA said in its latest update.
Regional passenger capacity (including GCC) increased 19.1% year-on-year and the load factor rose to 80.8%, IATA said.
The Middle East's total demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), was up 21.5% compared to February 2023.
Total capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASK), was up 18.7% year-on-year. The February load factor was 80.6% (+1.9ppt compared to February 2023).
International demand rose 26.3% compared to February 2023; capacity was up 25.5% year-on-year and the load factor improved to 79.3% (+0.5ppt on February 2023).
Domestic demand rose 15.0% compared to February 2023; capacity was up 9.4% year-on-year and the load factor was 82.6% (+4.0 ppt compared to February 2023), IATA said.
All regions showed double-digit growth for international passenger markets in February 2024 compared to February 2023.
For the first time, demand for international services exceeded pre-pandemic levels (+0.9% compared to February 2019). This, however, is skewed by February 2024 being a leap-year with an extra day compared to February 2023.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw a 53.2% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity increased 52.1% year-on-year and the load factor rose to 84.9% (+0.6ppt compared to February 2023), the highest among all regions.
Domestic demand growth was led by China (+35.1% compared to February 2023) which benefitted from unrestricted Lunar New Year travel.
IATA's Director General Willie Walsh said,“The strong start to 2024 continued in February with all markets except North America reporting double-digit growth in passenger traffic. There is good reason to be optimistic about the industry's prospects in 2024 as airlines accelerate investments in decarbonisation and passenger demand shows resilience in the face of geopolitical and economic uncertainties.
“It is critical that politicians resist the temptation of cash grabs with new taxes that could destabilise this positive trajectory and make travel more expensive. In particular, Europe is a worry as it seems determined to lock in its sluggish economic recovery with uncompetitive tax proposals.”


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