Gulf carriers buck global cargo slowdown

Region's airlines post 9.7% growth in May as worldwide freight business flatlines

Cargo business for Middle East carriers grew by nearly 10 percent last month, making it by far the best performing region in the world, according to latest figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

While global cargo markets continued to flatline during May, the region's airlines posted 9.7 percent growth with year to date figures up by 10.9 percent compared to the first five months of 2012.

"In addition to their aggressive hub strategy at the crossroads of East and West, and the growth of routes out of Africa to China, the Gulf-based carriers have also been air freighting goods that have arrived by sea. In addition new routes from the Gulf to Japan are set to benefit from an upswing in Japanese exports," IATA said in a statement.

Globally, it said cargo growth has continued to flatline in May, broadly following the trend of the last 18 months.

Global freight tonne kilometres increased just 0.8 percent in May compared to a year ago.

Capacity, however, increased by 2.1 percent causing load factors to fall to 44.9 percent - their lowest level since the post crisis recovery.

IATA said the stall in cargo markets appears to be the result of a recent softening in growth in developing economies, including China.

Moreover, business confidence is flat globally and declining in some developing economies, meaning chances of a significant upturn in the near future is unlikely.

Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “It is getting harder to find optimistic signs for air cargo growth. The Middle East remains a bright spot, and the rate of decline in the Eurozone is easing. But this is offset by the weakening of expansion in Asia-Pacific.

"It is now clear that the positive global upswing in air cargo at the end of 2012 was an illusion. Air cargo, along with many parts of the world economy, appears to be in suspended animation at the moment.”

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Smart move: Automated transport in the Gulf

Smart move: Automated transport in the Gulf

In a few short years how we get from A to B will be dramatically...

How technology is revving up the future of driving

How technology is revving up the future of driving

Technology firms have been investing in autonomous driving for...

Could the GCC have a free zone-free future?

Could the GCC have a free zone-free future?

Free zones, particularly attached to major ports, have become...

Most Discussed