Passenger demand for airlines in the Middle East rose by 2.6% last year according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Aviation Business Middle East covered the news, explaining that though demand grew for the region, it was still down from the 4.8% growth figure in 2018.
African airlines saw stronger growth in 2019, seeing a 5% increase in passenger demand, though still down from 6.3% the year before.
Global demand for airlines rose by 4.2% in 2019, compared to 7.3% the previous year.
Aviation Business explained 2019 was the first year since 2009 that passenger demand growth has been below approximately 5.5%.
IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac explained that airlines performed well in 2019 despite a number of challenges.
Juniac said: “A softer economic backdrop, weak global trade activity, and political and geopolitical tensions took their toll on demand.”They added: “Astute capacity management, and the effects of the 737 MAX grounding, contributed to another record load factor, helping the industry to manage through weaker demand and improving environmental performance.”