Middle East
Mideast airlines achieve record passenger growth in 2014: IATA
Last Updated: 2015-02-06 05:07 | Xinhua
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Airlines in the Middle East recorded the highest passenger growth worldwide in 2014, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.

According to IATA, Middle East airlines achieved a record-high 13 percent of passenger growth in 2014, as the regional economies continued to show robust growth in non-oil sectors, "and are therefore well-placed to withstand the plunge in oil revenues."

Earlier in the week, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of the biggest Middle Eastern carrier, Emirates Airline in Dubai, said that the oil price slump has translated into lower jet fuel costs, "but currency exchange risks have stood in place."

The airline capacity in the Middle East rose by 4.6 percent in 2014, while load factor, an indicator to assess the airlines' efficiency in filling seats and generating fare revenue, dropped by 1.1 percent to reach 81.7 percent, the highest among all regions.

In comparison, IATA figures showed that global traffic increased by 6.1 percent year-on-year in 2014, while the capacity rose by 6.4 percent and load factor slipped 0.1 percent to 79.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Dubai is set to bring its airport capacities to the next level to become the global air hub. In January, Dubai International Airport announced that it served 70 million passengers in 2014, an uptick of 6.1 percent over 2013 that made it one of the busiest airports in the world.

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