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Middle East air traffic takes off in June on global tourism revival

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IATA Director General Willie Walsh says demand for air travel remains strong after two years of lockdowns and border restrictions

Middle Eastern airlines reported a 246.5 percent year-on-year rise in passenger traffic in June 2022, driven by a continued recovery in international traffic, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a new report.

International revenue passenger per kilometres (RPKs) currently stands at 25 percent below its level in June 2019 for the regional airlines. However, the load factor climbed 32.4 percentage points to 78 percent, the airline trade body said.

Air traffic from the Middle East to North America, calculated in RPK, breached 2019 levels by 21.9 percent, while Africa to Middle East routes fell 10.9 percent from 2019 levels.

Elsewhere, international traffic rose 229.5 percent year-on-year in June 2022, driven by the lifting of travel restrictions in most parts of Asia-Pacific. International RPKs reached 65 percent from June 2019 levels.

“Demand for air travel remains strong. After two years of lockdowns and border restrictions, people are taking advantage of the freedom to travel wherever they can,” IATA’s director general Willie Walsh said in a statement.