DUBAI: Airline routes between Saudi Arabia and Egypt were among the busiest in the Middle East and Africa this month.
The Cairo-Jeddah route recorded around 67,000 flight seats in March, while 53,800 seats were booked on the Cairo-Riyadh route, according to flight intelligence company OAG.
The data showed Bahrain-Dubai topping Middle East routes with seating capacity of 80,468.
Air travel in the region is still reeling from the blows of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Gulf-based carriers particularly hard due to their small domestic markets.
Middle East airlines depend on connecting traffic between continents, which remains heavily crimped by restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19.
However, major regional carriers “are doing OK considering their respective network structures and market characteristics,” John Grant, a spokesperson for OAG, told Arab News.
Doha-based Qatar Airways recorded around 2.6 billion available seat kilometers (ASK) – an industry measurement of passenger carrying capacity – in March, the AOG report said, making it the largest airline globally during that period.
Dubai’s Emirates came in second at 2.1 billion ASK, while Etihad stood at around 758 million ASK.
Major airlines have seen their revenues supported by their cargo operations, which has received considerable investment to counter lower passenger numbers, Grant said.