Middle East air cargo demand softens significantly in May

Latest IATA figures show region's carriers saw demand expand by 3.2% as capacity rises by 9.5%
Middle East air cargo demand softens significantly in May
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By Staff writer
Wed 06 Jul 2016 06:56 PM

Air cargo demand in the Middle East softened considerably in May, reflecting a slowdown seen globally, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Middle Eastern carriers saw demand expand by 3.2 percent and capacity rise 9.5 percent in May compared to the same period last year.

IATA said in a statement that despite carriers in the region reporting the fastest growth in aggregate, demand conditions weakened considerably.

Annual growth in May was one-fifth of the pace registered in May 2015, IATA said, adding that this reflects both an easing in network expansion by the region’s main carriers over the past six months and weak trading conditions. 

Globally, IATA said air cargo demand growth measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) slowed in May with growth falling to 0.9 percent year-on-year. Yields remained pressured as freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs) increased by 4.9 percent year-on-year. 

Freight demand decreased or flat lined in May across all regions with the exception of Europe and the Middle East.

Broad weakness in world trade volumes, which have largely tracked sideways since the end of 2014, accounts for about 80 percent of air freight’s sluggish performance.

"Global trade has basically moved sideways since the end of 2014 taking air cargo with it. Hopes for a stronger 2016 are fading as economic and political uncertainty increases. Air cargo is vital to the global economy. But the business environment is extremely difficult and there are few signs of any immediate relief," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

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