Passenger traffic growth for Middle East carriers rose 1.8 percent in September, hitting a four-month low, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a recent report.
The volatility in the region's growth rate largely reflected the developments of last year such as the cabin ban on large portable electronic devices and the proposed travel bans to the US, it added.
Capacity was up 5.3 percent, but load factor declined 2.4 percentage points to 72.3 percent.
Meanwhile, passenger demand globally - measured in revenue passenger kilometers - jumped 5.5 percent compared to the same month in 2017.
However, the impacts from severe hurricane and typhoon activity in September resulted in the monthly traffic demand to fall below the 6.7 percent year-to-date pace, the report noted.
"While September's traffic growth was in line with the long-term average, it represents a moderation compared to recent months,” said Alexandre de Juniac, director-general and CEO, IATA.
“This is likely due to the anticipated reduced demand boost from lower airfares caused by rising airline cost pressures, particularly fuel. Heightened uncertainty about trade policies and mounting protectionist policies may also be having an impact.”
Last month, IATA had warned governments in the GCC and the Middle East to adopt a cautious approach towards privatization, as past efforts have “failed to live up to their promised benefits."