Mideast’s premium traffic up, says Iata

THE International Air Transport Association (Iata) reported good progress in premium travel to the Middle East. Hussein Dabbas, VP, Africa & Middle East, Iata, said, “May was another good month for premium-traffic growth in the region. Compared to May last year, traffic from the Far East was up 11.6 per cent and from Europe it grew 12.4 per cent. Economies in the region, particularly the Gulf, are recording strong growth in non-oil producing sectors and close to record levels of business activity, which should mean continued strength in the coming months.”

Iata’s assessment of premium travel this May:

• Growth in premium travel accelerated in May, rising 6.5pc year-on-year, compared to 3.8pc in April;

• Demand conditions are picking up again, after signs of wavering during recent past months;

• Recent data shows easing downward pressure from emerging markets, particularly China;

• But indicators of trade in Asia remain volatile, suggesting the outlook for regional business travel is uncertain;

• The within Far East premium travel market increased by a weak 2.6pc in May year-on-year;

• Other markets, however, experienced solid growth – the North Atlantic route increased by a strong 10.3pc;

• Latest data point to a significant reversal in Q2 GDP growth in the US, after weather-related weakness in Q1;

• The outlook for air travel is positive – global business activity (manufacturing + services) is now at a three year high;

• But growth in manufacturing and export orders, specifically, is yet to recover to 2013 year-end rates;

• This places some doubts over strong acceleration in trade and business-related demand in the near-term.