By Andy Sambidge
Region's carriers report 12.3% growth after slowdown seen during Ramadan the previous month
Middle Eastern carriers posted double digit cargo growth in October after a slowdown in the previous month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Wednesday.
Airlines in the region reported growth of 12.3 percent compared to the year-earlier period.
"After the year-on-year slowdown in September caused by Ramadan, freight growth in the Middle East resumed its strong upward trajectory. Capacity was well-matched to demand, with an increase of 12.1 percent," IATA said in a statement.
Globally, IATA said that compared to October 2012, global freight tonne kilometres (FTK) grew four percent, with growth in all regions except Africa.
The gradual expansion continues a trend that began in the third quarter as air freight markets have responded to better economic confidence and improved consumer demand, IATA added.
Performance varied significantly by region, with Middle East carriers reporting the most impressive growth.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: "Since mid-year we have seen modest but sustained growth in cargo fed by stronger business confidence and improving trade flows.
"Air cargo is still a very tough business. Matching capacity to demand has been difficult in an environment where passenger traffic is growing more robustly. There is some evidence that the fall in load factors has stabilized, but yields remain under pressure."
The average load factor for October was 46.4 percent, which is an improvement on the year-to-date load factor of 44.8 percent. This is still several percentage points below 2010 when they peaked at over 50 percent.