Air passenger traffic to Lebanon sees sharp decline in August
BEIRUT: Passenger traffic to Lebanon’s Rafik Hariri International Airport saw a sharp decline of 50 percent in the first week of August compared to the same period last month, with the holy month of Ramadan and unrest in Syria playing a key role in the fall.
Air passenger traffic to the small Mediterranean country fell in the first week of August from a daily average of 15,000 to 7,000, 50 percent less than traffic recorded for the same period in the month of July.
The number of passengers departing from Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut was at 10,600 on average per day compare to traffic in July which was between 7,000 to 8,000 passengers, most of the activity having been to and from Arab and Gulf Arab states.
The decline in the number of passengers to Lebanon, which started in the last week of July, is thought to be as a result of Ramadan during which visiting Arabs prefer to return home for the holy month. Unrest in neighboring Syria is also thought to be a factor in the decline in passenger activity to and from Lebanon.
Local travel agencies and several airline companies, with Middle East Airlines at the forefront, say the number of bookings it has indicates that a sizeable number of Lebanese want to return to the country at the end of August in order to spend the Eid el-Fitr at home as well as profit from what remains of the summer season in the month of September, prior to start of schools in the countries they are visiting from.
Source : The Daily Star
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