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Monday, 7 August 2017

This summer’s “season of bans” has led to a lag in air traffic demand in the Middle East

This summer’s “season of bans” has led to a lag in air traffic demand in the Middle East: Middle Eastern flight carriers saw demand a 2.5% y-o-y increase in traffic in June, far below the 7.5% increase in international passenger demand in all world regions, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week. Traffic had declined m-o-m from May, which recorded a 3.7% increase. This comes as capacity rose 3.1% in June, while load factor slipped down 0.4%. The decline in demand was for North American routes, a natural consequence of both the laptop ban and President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. While the report did not comment on the impact of the air blockade imposed by “the Arab Quartet” on Qatar in June, undoubtedly it would have contributed to the slide as it did prevent Qatar Airways — the region’s second largest carrier — from making flights to the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

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