Passenger demand in Middle East picks up in October: IATA report


Passenger demand in Middle East picks up in October: IATA report

All regions are expected to post improved profits year-on-year in 2018 with the North American carriers leading the pack at US$16.4 billion, which is almost half of the collective bottom line.

The strong 2018 forecast is fueled by IATA's projection that the number of airline passengers will increase 6% next year to 4.3 billion, helping revenue jump 9.4%, to $824 billion.

IATA said the global air passenger performance in October was helped by a lack of weather-related impacts.

The positive outlook is the result of solid airline safety performance; a clear strategy that is delivering results on environmental performance; more people than ever are traveling; demand for air cargo is at its strongest level in over a decade; employment is growing; and more routes are being opened.

Iata chief Alexandre de Juniac said: "These are good times for the global air transport industry. It's still, however, a tough business and we are being challenged on the cost front by rising fuel, labour and infrastructure expenses", he told a media briefing here today.

"Governments are not meeting their responsibility to provide sufficient infrastructure for the industry to meet demand", de Juniac said.

"The region's carriers face challenges to their business models, and from low oil revenues, regional conflict, crowded air space, the impact of travel restrictions to the U.S., and competition the new "super connector" [Turkish Airlines]", IATA said.

Revenues from the passenger business are expected to grow to $581 billion (up 9.2 per cent on $532 billion in 2017). A rise in cargo carried to 62.5 million tonnes (up 4.5 per cent on the 59.9 million tonnes in 2017). Demand to and from North America fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month in September and it remains the only global market not to have grown in annual terms this year.

European airlines will record a net profit of $11.5 billion next year, according to the forecast.

In its statement, IATA said the US figure, up from a forecast $15.6 billion in 2017, actually represents a slight fall away in market share.

Middle East airlines, meanwhile, will see net profits doubling to $600 million in 2018, up from the $300 million they will make this year, IATA said.

Middle East carriers experienced a 6.9% rise in demand in October, improved from 3.9% in September. African airlines are projected to lose $100 million. This was down from $1.1bn in 2016.

Global tourists travelling by air are expected to spend more than $750 billion in 2018, a rise of 15% in just over 2 years.



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