Middle East airlines have recorded a 6.4 per cent increase in passenger traffic in June compared to the same month in 2010.

In May, regional carriers experienced a 7.8 per cent increase in traffic (MEED 5:7:11).

In terms of global traffic, airlines recorded a 4.4 per cent rise in passenger traffic in June, which was a softening of the market compared to the previous month.

“Compared to May, both passenger and cargo markets contracted by about 1 per cent. For passenger traffic, this is a speed-bump in a gradual post-recession improvement. But air cargo continues in the doldrums at six per cent below the post-recession peak,” says Giovanni Bisignani, director general and chief executive of Montreal-based International Air Transport Association (Iata).

Regionally, Latin American carriers experienced the highest growth in June at 14.3 per cent over the same time the previous year.

European carriers saw passenger traffic increase 8.9 per cent in June with the weak euro supporting inbound travel and business travel.

North American carriers saw a passenger traffic growth of just 2.4 per cent. Asia Pacific airlines saw traffic rise 3.3 per cent due to tightening economic policies and the effects of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

African carriers continue to experience the weakest demand with traffic growth falling 2.9 per cent in June. The continued political unrest in North Africa is the primary driver of the region’s poor performance.