Middle East airlines recorded a 9.1 per cent rise in passenger traffic in September, compared to a global increase of 5.6 per cent year-on-year.

Freight traffic in the Middle East declined 2.7 per cent.

“September’s strength in passenger demand was a pleasant surprise. Freight demand contracted for a fifth consecutive month and this trend is in line with falling business and consumer confidence,” says Tony Tyler, director general and chief executive of Montreal-based International Air Transport Association (Iata). “We are still expecting a general weakening in passenger traffic as we head towards the year-end.”

Air travel volumes rebounded to levels reached in July, following a dip in August. Middle East carriers recorded a 6.7 per cent rise in passenger traffic in August (MEED 3:10:11).

The sharp decline in business confidence in most economies and the weakness in US and European consumer confidence, suggest reluctance for both business and leisure travel. All regions recorded an increase in passenger traffic in September.

Latin American carriers reported the largest rise in traffic at 10.6 per cent. This is attributed to robust economic conditions. European carriers saw a 9.2 per cent rise in traffic, while Asia-Pacific carriers recorded a 4.3 per cent increase in traffic. Carriers in North America reported a 1.2 per cent increase, making it the weakest region worldwide. African carriers experienced a five per cent rise in traffic.