Middle Eastern carriers resumed their strong growth trend in cargo volumes at the beginning of 2016, expanding 8.8 percent in January, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The region's freight load factor was broadly stable, declining just 0.3 percent to 39.2 percent during the month compared to the year-earlier period, IATA said in a statement.
"The region’s airlines continue to enjoy strong growth, helped by large-scale network and fleet expansion," said the statement.
Globally, IATA said air freight markets in January showed a rise in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) of 2.7 percent compared to January 2015.
This continues the improving trend witnessed toward the end of 2015, and is the fastest pace since April of last year. The freight load factor fell 1.8 percent, indicating that yields are likely to come under further pressure.
Total FTKs in January surpassed the previous all-time peak reached in February 2015, IATA added with all regions except the smallest markets of Africa and Latin America expanding.
IATA said despite this good start, the underlying weak trade performance makes it unlikely that growth will accelerate significantly in the coming months.
"It is good news that volumes are growing, but yields and revenues are still under tremendous pressure. Air cargo plays a vital role in our globalized and fast-paced world in which trade is the foundation for long-term prosperity. Removing barriers to trade is a win-win," 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.
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.