Weak U.S. Market | Hits Hard Middle Eastern Airlines

The fast-growing Middle Eastern carriers saw a decline in passenger traffic growth levels during the month of June, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Growth across the region was pegged at 2.5 percent during the sixth month of the year, compared to 3.7 percent during the previous month, with challenges in the American market the main catalyst for slowing growth.

The ban by the United States on personal electronic devices aboard flights from the region hit the traffic especially in the Middle East-North America market.

“Passenger traffic between the Middle East and North America was already slowing in early 2017, in line with a moderation in the pace of growth of the largest carriers in the region,” the IATA said.

In July, the U.S. administration lifted the ban on laptops and other electronic devices aboard the flights coming from the Middle East.

In May, Emirates airline reported a fall in profits for the first time in 5 years. The Dubai-based carrier’s net profit plunged 82 percent to 1.3 billion dirhams ($354 million) amidst a slowing demand for travel.

“We remain optimistic for the future of our industry, although we expect the year ahead to remain challenging with hyper competition squeezing airline yields, and volatility in many markets impacting travel flows and demand,” Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said at the time.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways in July reported its first loss since 2010 with a net loss of $1.9 billion for last year due to impairments to planes as well as investments in troubled European carriers.

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