Air passenger traffic in the Middle East continued its strong recovery during August, rising 10.8 per cent compared with a year ago.

The latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) followed a 13.2 per cent increase in July, compared with July 2008.

The region also continues to outstrip the rest of the world. Total passenger numbers worldwide fell 1.1 per cent during August.

In mid-September, IATA revised its predicted outlook for Middle East aviation in 2009. The association believes regional carriers will lose about $500m in 2009, following a strong recovery in passenger traffic since April.

In June, the association predicted a worsening outlook in 2009 for Middle East airlines, with total losses of about $1.5bn.