Middle East carriers posted growth of about 13 per cent year on year in traffic last month, and the region was alone in recording a double-digit percentage increase in demand amid a global slowdown after the Brussels airport attack in March.
However, with the capacity growth of regional carriers at 14.8 per cent in April, load factor fell by 1.4 percentage points to 75.6 per cent, the International Air Travel Association (Iata) said on the eve of its annual meeting, which is being held in Dublin this year. Globally, demand last month slowed to 4.6 per cent year-on- year, the lowest rate of growth since January last year.
The attacks in March on Brussels’ airport and metro left 31 people dead and 300 wounded. The attacks led to airports introducing new screening measures in terminals. They weighed on April figures, Iata said, estimating that without them, demand growth would have been about 5 per cent.
“The disruptive impacts of the Brussels terror attacks will likely be short-lived. There are some longer-term clouds over the pace of demand growth. The stimulus from lower oil prices appears to be tapering off. And the global economic situation is subdued. Demand is still growing, but we may be shifting down a gear,” said Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and chief executive.
For European airlines demand rose by a mere 1.8 per cent annually last month, down from 6 per cent growth recorded in March, reflecting the effect of the Brussels attacks, which closed the airport for about two weeks.
Now airports worldwide are reviewing landside security and screening procedures, which could have a dramatic effect on the design of the areas in and around terminal buildings, where passengers arrive before checking in.
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