Latest IATA figures show regional airlines are facing strong competition, particularly on the Asia-Europe route
Air cargo volume growth in the Middle East grew by nearly nine percent in September, down from the previous month, according to latest data supplied by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Middle Eastern carriers’ year-on-year freight volumes increased 8.9 percent while capacity increased 2.6 percent, IATA said in a statement.
It added that a short-lived weak patch in demand in Q3 2016 has meant that recent months have produced volatility in the year-on-year growth rate.
Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes, however, have continued to trend upwards at a rate of 8 percent over the past six months.
IATA said strong competition, particularly on the Asia-Europe route, means that Middle East carriers are not seeing as healthy a pickup in the seasonally-adjusted traffic trend as carriers in other regions.
Globally, IATA said air freight demand (measured in freight tonne kilometres or FTKs), rose 9.2 percent compared to the same month in 2016. This was the slowest pace of growth seen in five months.
"Demand for air cargo grew by 9.2 percent in September. While that’s slower than in previous months, it remains stronger than anything we have seen in recent memory. But there are signs that this demand spurt may have peaked," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.