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Middle East airlines expected to rebound from pandemic by 2024: IATA

The industry body, which represents some 300 airlines, expects air traffic to double in the Middle East to 550 million annual passengers by 2040.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s three-day Annual General Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, ended on Tuesday with welcome news for airlines in the Middle East in terms of growth and recovery to passenger levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The outlook for the whole industry was positive at the gathering, which was hosted by Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines. IATA — an association that represents around 300 airlines in 120 countries — forecasted that the global aviation industry's profits are expected to reach $9.8 billion in 2023, more than double the $4.7 billion forecast in December, driven by pent-up demand for air travel following the pandemic. 

Traffic recovering in region 

Speaking on the second day of the meeting on Monday, IATA regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East Kamil Al-Awadhi said that Middle Eastern carriers were on track for a full recovery and the airlines are expected to bounce back from pre-pandemic 2019 levels by 2024.

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