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Middle East flying high after air traffic growth revealed

The latest data released by International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that Middle Eastern airlines displayed the strongest traffic growth in the world in May 2012

The region's carriers recorded a 15.8 per cent year-on-year increase for the month, outstripping capacity expansion of 11.9 per cent.

IATA revealed that the Middle East was the only region among all markets that recorded double-digit growth for international passengers.

?Middle East carriers were the only ones to report aggregate accelerated demand growth compared to April, when the region?s airlines reported 15.2 per cent growth,? the IATA said. Load factors in the region were the second-weakest among regions at 74 per cent, but it stood better than in April 2012.

The region?s carriers posted a 12.4 per cent increase in demand, which exceeded an 11.7 per cent rise in capacity. Half of this year's growth in cargo markets has also been captured by the Middle East carriers, IATA said.

While passenger demand was 4.5 per cent ahead of levels in May 2011, growth was virtually flat compared when to April 2012.

IATA director general and chief executive officer?Tony Tyler?said,??The airline industry is fragile. Relief in oil prices provides some good news. Unfortunately, the softness in oil markets comes on the back of fears of deterioration in the European economy.?