Latest IATA figures show strong growth is being supported by increase between the Middle East and Europe
Middle Eastern carriers reported an 8.4 percent rise in air freight volumes in January, according to latest figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Capacity increased by 3.3 percent as seasonally adjusted cargo volumes continued to trend upwards during the first month of the year, supported by an increase between the Middle East and Europe.
IATA said in a statement that despite this, growth has eased from the double-digit rates which were the norm over the past 10 years. This corresponds with a slowdown in network expansion by the region’s major carriers.
Globally, IATA said that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), rose 6.9 percent in January compared to the year-earlier period.
While this was down from the 10 percent annual growth recorded in December 2016 it still was well above the average annual growth rate of 3 percent over the past five years, IATA added.
Growth in freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), slowed to 3.5 percent in January.
The continued positive momentum in freight growth into 2017 coincides with a steady rise in new export orders, which reached their highest level in February since March 2011, it said.
"It’s been a good start to the year for air cargo. Demand growth accelerated in January, bolstered by strengthening export orders. And that outpaced the capacity growth which should be positive for yields," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.