Middle Eastern carriers’ freight volumes increased 4.4 percent year-on-year in January, the slowest growth of all regions, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Capacity increased 6.3 percent, the aviation authority said in a statement, adding that seasonally adjusted freight volumes continued to trend upwards during the first month of the year, despite the region’s carriers remaining affected by the ongoing challenging political environment in the Middle East.
Globally, IATA said air cargo demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), rose 8 percent in January compared to the year-earlier period. This was up from the 5.8 percent annual growth recorded in December.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), rose by 4.2 percent year-on-year in January.
IATA said the continued positive momentum in freight growth into 2018 reflects the fact that demand drivers for air cargo remain supportive.
It added that global demand for manufacturing exports is buoyant and meeting this strong demand is leading to longer supply chain delivery times. Demand for air cargo may strengthen as a result, with companies seeking faster delivery times to make up for longer production times.
"With 8 percent growth in January, it’s been a solid start to 2018 for air cargo. That follows an exceptional year in which demand grew by 9 percent. We expect demand for air cargo to taper to a more normal 4.5 percent growth rate for 2018," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
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