Middle East-based carriers saw air cargo demand growth slow to its lowest mark for more than seven years in September, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Monthly growth of 1.2 percent was registered in September year-on-year, the third consecutive month of slowdown, while capacity increased by 6.2 percent.
Seasonally-adjusted freight growth, which had been trending upwards until the past year or so year, has now halted, IATA said in a statement.
It added that this turnaround in performance is partly due to weaker conditions in the Middle East-to-Asia and Middle East-to-North America markets.
Globally, IATA said air freight demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), rose 6.1 percent year-on-year.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), increased 4.7 percent over the same period while load factors remained historically low, keeping yields under pressure.
IATA said September’s positive performance coincided with an apparent turnaround in new export orders in recent months. Some unique factors also may have contributed, such as the rush replacement of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices during the month, as well as the early impacts of the collapse of the Hanjin marine shipping line at the end of August.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: "Demand for air cargo strengthened in September. Although with growth in world trade virtually at a standstill, the air cargo sector still faces some major hurdles. Growth is the way to overcome the world’s current economic challenges."For all the latest GCC 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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