Middle East air passenger demand up in July

The Middle East-North America market has been affected by a combination of factors in 2017, including the recently lifted cabin ban on large portable electronic devices. (Reuters)
Updated 07 September 2017
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Middle East air passenger demand up in July

DUBAI: Middle East carriers registered a 4.5 percent increase in passenger demand for July, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.
This was an acceleration from the 3.6 percent growth reported in June, but still way below the five-year average pace of 11.2 percent, the group said.
“The Middle East-North America market has been affected by a combination of factors in 2017, including the recently-lifted cabin ban on large portable electronic devices, as well as a wider impact from the proposed travel bans to the US,” IATA said.
“Traffic growth on the Middle East-US route was already slowing in early 2017, in line with a moderation in the pace of expansion of nonstop services by the largest Middle Eastern airlines.”
The US Department of Homeland Security earlier lifted restrictions on electronic items inside cabins of aircraft flying from Gulf, Middle East and North Africa airports after carries implemented measures to address concerns about terrorism.
“Traffic growth on the segment was already slowing in early-2017, in line with a moderation in the pace of growth of non-stop services flown by the largest Middle Eastern airlines,” IATA said.
On a global scale, international passenger demand expanded at a slower 6.2 percent in July, compared with 7.6 percent in June, while capacity climbed 5.5 percent and load factor went up 0.5 percentage points to 84.6 percent.
European carriers posted a 7.5 percent rise in traffic for July compared to a year ago, down from 8.8 percent annual growth in June. Passenger traffic for the Asia-Pacific airlines’ meanwhile deceleration to 5.9 percent in July, against 8.8 percent a month earlier.
North American airlines’ passenger traffic climbed 3.5 percent while Latin American carriers recorded the strongest growth among regions, posting a 10.5 percent demand rise compared to July 2016.
African airlines experienced a 6.5 percent increase in traffic compared to a year ago, down from 9.8 percent demand growth in June
“As is evidenced by the record high load factor in July, the appetite for air travel remains very strong. However, the stimulus effect of lower fares is softening in the face of rising cost inputs. This suggests a moderating in the supportive demand backdrop,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.


Budget carrier XL Airways seeks rescue deal with Air France

Updated 22 September 2019

Budget carrier XL Airways seeks rescue deal with Air France

  • XL Airways needs $38.6 million (€35 million) in fresh financing
  • XL Airways’ woes follow similar issues at French airline Aigle Azur

PARIS: French airline XL Airways has called on Air France to discuss a rescue deal to avert the collapse of the budget carrier that halted ticket sales and payments last week.
XL Airways, which has said it needs $38.6 million (€35 million) in fresh financing, requested in a statement on Sunday a meeting with Air France and the French authorities in the coming hours before a court is expected to put it into receivership on Monday.
In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, also published on Sunday, XL Airways’ Chief Executive Laurent Mignan said his airline could become Air France’s low-cost offer on long-haul routes.
An Air France spokeswoman declined to comment.
Air France, France’s historic national carrier, is part of the Air France-KLM group.
XL Airways operated four Airbus A330 aircraft and provided mainly long-haul flights to the Caribbean, the United States and France’s Reunion island.
XL Airways’ woes follow similar issues at French airline Aigle Azur. Aigle Azur’s unfolding bankruptcy is the latest among smaller European airlines struggling to contend with higher fuel costs and stiff low-cost competition.