World Economy

Mideast Air Cargo Demand Rising

Mideast Air Cargo Demand RisingMideast Air Cargo Demand Rising

Middle East carriers saw cargo demand expand by 8.3% in October despite a slowdown in the region’s key economies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the International Air Transport Association has said.

The aviation authority said capacity rose 11.6% during the same period as recent air cargo growth in the region continues to trend well below the rates seen for the first half of the year, Arabian Business reported.

Growth in the Middle East, although robust, was some 4.3% down on the average performance for the year to date, IATA added in a statement. 

“Saudi Arabia and the UAE, among others in the region, have seen slowdowns in non-oil sectors, but growth rates remain robust enough to sustain solid demand for air cargo,” IATA said.

Globally, IATA said that air cargo volumes measured by freight ton kilometers rose just 0.5% in October compared to a year ago. Year-over-year expansion fell back from September’s faster growth rate, and total cargo volumes in October stand 1.1% lower than the peak of the uptrend at the end of 2014.

European carriers have driven recent improvements in air cargo growth, but they ran out of steam in October with a rise of just 0.2% while markets in North American, Latin America and Africa all reported declines.

Tony Tyler, IATA director general and CEO, said: “The outlook for air cargo continues to be very difficult. While there was some optimism from third quarter growth it has all but disappeared as the industry is basically flat-lined.”