The Middle East carriers experienced the strongest traffic growth, with demand up 13.3 per cent in September on year-on-year basis. This was down compared to the 17 per cent growth recorded in August but the growth comparison for August was inflated by seasonal impacts, with Ramadan dampening traffic growth in August 2011, said International Air Transport Association (IATA) report on global traffic for September.
Similarly, for air cargo, the report pointed out that the Middle Eastern carriers had a 16.3 per cent rise on a 6.9 per cent rise in capacity, pushing up the load factor 3.8 per cent points to 46.1 per cent. Globally, results for September showed a continued slowdown in the rate of traffic growth. Demand for passenger traffic was 4.1 per cent above the level of September 2011. For air cargo, demand growth was even weaker at 0.6 per cent."A 'two-speed' recovery is emerging into a 'multi-speed' reality.
Carriers in China, Latin America and the Middle East are growing strongly. Europe's airlines are experiencing profitless growth in a strategy to manage high fixed costs and taxes. In Africa, the challenge is to turn growth opportunities into profits. "But for North American airlines the focus is on tightly managing capacity in order to optimise profits in a slow to no-growth environment. Asia-Pacific carriers outside of China are a mixed bag. Robust growth in China is being tempered by faltering markets in Japan and India,- said Tony Tyler, IATA director-general and chief exeucitve.
Hussein Dabbas, regional vice-president for the Middle East and North Africa, said: "Middle Eastern carriers continue to outperform the wider market, with growth expanding 1 per cent between August and September. And freight also had a positive month, one of only two global regions to show any month-on-month growth. Although profits will be lower this year compared to 2011, these trends look good for stronger profitability in 2013.-
September international passenger demand rose 4.9 per cent compared to the year-ago period, with all regions reporting traffic growth. Only Asia-Pacific carriers experienced a decline compared to August.
Capacity rose 3.1 per cent for the month, pushing the load factor up 1.3 per cent points to 80.9 per cent compared to a year ago.
European airlines experienced 5.4 per cent growth on international services compared to September 2011, the strongest performance among the major regions despite recession conditions in Europe. With capacity up 3.5 per cent, the load factor reached 83.9 per cent, up 1.5 per cent points on September 2011, and the second highest among the regions.
Asia-Pacific was one of the weakest regions, as demand rose just 1.7 per cent year-on-year. Compared to August, the region recorded a 0.3 per cent decline -” the only region to do so. Tight capacity management, however, meant that the load factor rose 1 per cent point versus last year to 77.2 per cent.
African airlines' traffic climbed 4.7 per cent year-on-year, on a 3 per cent rise in capacity. The load factor was 71.6 per cent, the lowest of any region but a 1.2 per cent point rise over last year.
North American airlines' international traffic climbed 2.1 per cent for the month, while capacity declined 0.2 per cent, with the load factor reaching 84.6 per cent, the highest for any region and a 2 per cent point rise over September 2011.
"Putting regional diversity aside, the fact that airlines are making any money at all with weak markets and high fuel prices is a tribute to their strong business performance, as evidenced by maintaining global load factors close to 80% since the start of 2012. Even with that, airlines are expected to eke out a global net profit margin of only 0.6 per cent. It's a tough year,- said Tyler.
From:Times Of Oman