Passenger traffic rose by 12.1 per cent for Middle East airlines in April, indicating a return of confidence to the region.

In March, airline traffic rose just 5.6 per cent for Middle East carriers (MEED 3:5:11).

While political unrest in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria continued through the month of April, the impact on traffic was small as these three markets combined account for just six per cent of Middle East traffic.

Globally, air traffic rose 16.5 per cent compared to the same time the previous year.

African carriers experienced a growth of 1.2 per cent in passenger traffic as stability returns to most of North Africa. While the number of flights to and from Egypt and Tunisia is down by about a quarter compared to the same time last year, half of February’s decline in these two markets has recovered. Libyan airspace continues to remain closed.

In other regions, Asia-Pacific carrier traffic rose 5.1 per cent and Japan’s traffic was down 20 per cent.

Carrier traffic in North America rose 1.2 per cent in April, while airlines in Europe reported a 29.3 per cent rise compared to April 2010 when airlines were severely impacted by the volcanic ash crisis.

Latin American carriers reported a 25.9 per cent rise in traffic, benefiting from the growth of trade within the region and with Asia.