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Mideast carriers see freight volumes up 12.7pc

Geneva, July 30, 2013

Middle Eastern airlines saw a continued robust expansion of demand in June with freight volumes growing by 12.7 per cent year-on-year, said a report released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

The consistent high growth in recent years, as the region’s carriers take advantage of the geographical position of the Middle East, has led to a substantial increase in its share of world air freight, it added.

African airlines recorded relatively slower growth in June, up 2.4 per cent on June 2012. This lags the year to date trend of 4.3 per cent, which is the second best of all regions, the report noted.

With economic growth in some key African markets looking strong, demand for high-value light weight consumer goods should rise, helping air freight volumes in the months to come, according to Iata.

The global air freight demand in June saw a 1.2 per cent year-on-year expansion in June according to the figures.

The figure, although weak, shows an improvement as compared to the 0.9 per cent year-on-year demand growth recorded in May and the 0.1 per cent growth realised over the first half of the year.

From May to June, global freight volumes increased by 0.8 per cent. A quarter of that improvement was captured by European airlines which saw a 0.9 per cent improvement in demand compared to May, and 2.6 per cent up compared to June 2012.

In contrast, Asia-Pacific carriers and North American airlines recorded year-on-year declines of 1.8 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.

“It’s too early to tell if June was a positive turning point after 18 months of stagnation. Air freight volumes are at their highest since mid-2011, but that good news needs to be tempered with a dose of reality. The global economic environment remains weak, and the basis for the acceleration of air cargo growth in June appears to be fragile,” said Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and CEO.

Earlier this month Iata released the July edition of its Airline Business Confidence Index which showed nearly 58 per cent of respondents expecting freight volumes to increase over the next year.

A much greater percentage of respondents (72.2 per cent), however, expect no change in weak cargo yields despite their expected increase in demand over the same period. The macro-economic trend remains challenging.

Global economic trend was previously defined by robust emerging economies and stagnant growth in developed markets, the strongest improvements in business confidence are now occurring in some developed economies. The overall business confidence, which is a key indicator for air freight, continues to be weak. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Middle East | Iata | demand | growth | freight | weak | Air |

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