Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ failing to impact travel demand, says Iata

Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ failing to impact travel demand, says Iata

The attempted US ban on travel from six mainly Muslim countries has failed to disrupt global air travel as air fares tumble, latest Iata data shows.

Passenger traffic results for February show a second month of strong demand growth for the start of 2017.

The underlying growth rate was estimated at 8.6%, just under January’s increase of 8.9%.

The cost of air travel has fallen by more than 10% in real terms over the past year, allowing for inflation, Iata estimated.

Director general and chief executive, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “The strong demand momentum from January has continued, supported by lower fares and a healthier economic backdrop.

“Although we remain concerned over the impact of any travel restrictions or closing of borders, we have not seen the attempted US ban on travel from six countries translate into an identifiable traffic trend. Overall travel demand continues to grow at a robust rate.”

However, Iata believes he potential implications of the Brexit talks on the air transport industry are “significant” and the political rhetoric of protectionism and closing of borders is adding to the ambiguity.

“It’s intolerable that governments continue to add to the uncertainties facing the air transport industry by failing to engage airline operational know-how on issues that can damage public confidence,” said de Juniac.

“The introduction of restrictions on the carry-on of large electronic devices was a missed opportunity and the result was a measure that cannot stand-up to the scrutiny of public confidence in the long term.”

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