By Andy Sambidge
International Air Transport Association says freight business grows by nearly 13% last year
Middle East carriers registered double digit cargo growth during 2013, well ahead of airlines from any other region, new figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reveal.
The region's airlines expanded freight tonne kilometres by 13 percent in December and by 12.8 percent for 2013 as a whole, IATA said.
In a statement, the global aviation authority added: "The Middle East has benefited from improving economic conditions in Europe as well as solid growth in domestic Gulf economies.
"Middle Eastern carriers have also captured a significant share of the increase in the volumes out of Africa."
Globally, IATA reported a 1.4 percent expansion of freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) in 2013 when compared to 2012.
Most cargo markets made very slow progress during the first half of the year, IATA said. Acceleration in the trend took root in the latter half of 2013, placing air freight volumes on a steadily increasing trajectory.
Capacity grew faster than demand at 2.6 percent and load factors were weak at 45.3 percent.
"Regional performance varied. Middle Eastern and Latin American carriers reported the strongest growth in demand (12.8 percent and 2.4 percent respectively). Asia-Pacific carriers, which have nearly 40 percent of the global air freight market, saw cargo activities shrink by 1 percent over the year," the statement added
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: "2013 was a tough year for cargo. While we saw some improvement in demand from the second half of the year, we can still expect that 2014 will be a challenging year. World trade continues to expand more rapidly than demand for air cargo.
"Trade itself is suffering from increasing protectionist measures by governments. And the relative good fortunes of passenger markets compared to cargo make it difficult for airlines to match capacity to demand," he said.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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