Global scheduled air passenger traffic rose 4.9 per cent in 2012, and it will rise by a further 4.8 per cent this year, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO’s report, which covers its 191 member airlines, showed a 4.9 per cent growth in passenger-kilometres performed (PKPs) but said it was “significantly lower” than the 6.6 per cent increase in 2011. Passenger numbers rose 4.7 per cent to almost three billion, while departures were up 0.7 per cent to 31.2m globally. “Despite regional turmoil and a pessimistic short-term economic outlook, the airlines of the Middle East should continue to register the fastest traffic growth in terms of PKPs, with a 10.2 per cent increase over 2012,” ICAO said in a statement. During 2013, airlines in Latin America and the Caribbean; Asia-Pacific; and Africa are expected to grow by 7.6, 5.5 and 5.2 per cent, respectively. Scheduled passenger air traffic in Europe and North America should increase by 4.4 and 2.3 per cent, respectively.