Air cargo demand growth in Middle East markets halved in April compared to the year-earlier period, according to new figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The aviation authority said in a statement that Middle Eastern carriers saw demand expand by 7.7 percent and capacity rise 11 percent in April.
It added that although carriers in the region continued to report the fastest growth in aggregate, the April growth rate was about half that recorded in April 2015.
"This reflects both a slowdown in network expansion by the region’s main carriers over the past six months and weak trading conditions," IATA's statement said.
Globally, IATA said freight markets showed a 3.2 percent increase in demand measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) compared to the same period last year.
Yields remained pressured as April freight capacity (measured in available freight tonne kilometres or AFTKs) increased by 6.6 percent year-on-year.
The increase in demand was broad-based across all regions with the exception of Latin America. The strongest growth occurred in the Middle East and Europe, with April demand up by 7.7 peercent and 6.8 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.
Overall, the demand for air cargo remains soft and lags behind the relatively robust growth on the passenger side of the business, IATA said.
“While the April uptick in demand growth for air cargo is encouraging, the overall economic environment is not. The decline in global trade does not bode well for air cargo markets in the months ahead,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.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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