Passenger demand maintains growth
Demand for international and domestic travel maintained its historic growth in 2013, with air carriers in the Middle East seeing the highest boost, in spite of difficult trading conditions across the globe.
This is according to the latest research released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which found a 5.2 per cent rise in the number of people travelling compared to the previous year.
The study found that international demand had risen slightly faster than that of domestic, with the two sectors reporting healthy 5.4 per cent and 4.9 per cent respective increases.
Airlines in the Middle East reported the strongest boost in demand, with passenger traffic up 11.4 per cent in comparison to 2012. The industry benefited greatly from regional economies, which continue to perform well.
Elsewhere, European companies saw a much more modest 3.8 per cent growth, while North America languished at the bottom of the rankings table with a mere 2.3 per cent.
However, the survey acknowledged that their respective economies have started to stabilise and they are likely to experience a greater degree of growth in the coming months.
Of the participating countries, Brazil’s airlines saw the slowest growth in demand for travel, with traffic up just 0.8 per cent over 2012’s statistics.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and chief executive, was keen to shed light on the findings.
“We saw healthy demand growth in 2013 despite the very difficult economic environment. There was a clear improvement trend over the course of the year which bodes well for 2014,” he said.
“Last year’s demand performance demonstrates the essential and growing role that aviation-enabled connectivity plays in our world. It is also clear that airlines are continuing to drive efficiencies to an ever-higher level.”