Middle Eastern carriers posted year-on-year freight volume growth of more than 14 percent in August, according to latest figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Volumes increased 14.1 percent and capacity increased 2.8 percent, IATA said, adding that the strong pick-up in demand largely reflects favourable comparisons to a short-lived weak patch in demand in 2016 rather than an acceleration in the current demand trend.
Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes have maintained their solid upward trend. However, amid strong competition from other region’s carriers particularly on the Asia-Europe route, Middle East carriers are not seeing as strong a pickup in the seasonally-adjusted traffic trend as other region’s carriers, IATA said in a statement.
Globally, IATA said air cargo demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), increased by 12.1 percent in August, compared to the same period a year ago.
This was the fifth time in six months of double-digit gains on the previous year’s performance. Demand is growing strongly in 2017 when compared to the five-year average growth rate of 4.4 percent.
The strong performance of air freight demand corresponds with the pick-up in global trade. World trade volumes grew 4.2 percent in the first seven months of 2017 compared to 2016, their strongest performance since 2011.
IATA said the outlook for air freight remains strong. With several months of double-digit growth in 2017, the current IATA forecast of 7.5 percent growth in air freight demand for 2017 appears to have significant upside potential.
"Air cargo had another stellar performance in August. Demand for air cargo grew at a double-digit rate for the fourth month in a row - outperforming demand for passenger travel for the fourth consecutive month," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.