By Andy Sambidge
IATA says region's airlines are benefiting from expanding trade with emerging economies
Middle East carriers continued to record double-digit growth in freight volumes in February, according to latest figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday.
Cargo volumes in the region were up by 11.9 percent compared to the same month last year as airlines benefited not only from the stronger growth in developed economies but also from expanding trade with emerging economies.
Capacity in the Middle East grew slower than demand, by 9.2 percent, IATA added in a statement.
Globally, cargo growth rose by 2.9 percent in February compared to February 2013.
The first two months of 2014 have seen an overall 3.6 percent improvement in demand over the previous year, building on the rebound which began in the second half of 2013.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “Cargo has had a positive start to the year. There is good cause for measured optimism for the cargo industry’s prospects in 2014.
"The 3.6 percent growth in demand recorded over the first two months of this year is a significant step up from the 1.4 percent growth in demand over the whole of 2013,” he said.
He said the vast majority of the growth in cargo was realised by airlines in the Middle East and Europe.