ME air cargo carriers top global demand growth
Geneva, January 9, 2014
Middle Eastern carriers reported a 16.5 per cent year-on-year growth in air cargo demand for November 2013 over the previous year, reflecting the strongest performance among all regions worldwide, a report said.
Carriers in the Middle East have benefited from improvements in advanced economies, including better demand in Europe, as well as solid economic and trade growth in the Gulf area, added the report released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
The trend is likely to continue with indicators showing record high export orders in the UAE, which bodes well for continued growth in the region’s trade volumes, the report said.
African carriers registered a contraction of 1.2 per cent for freight demand in November compared to a year ago. After a solid start to the year, growth in air freight carried by African airlines weakened from the middle of 2013.
Although the region’s trade volumes continue to increase and local economies are experiencing fast growth, competition from airlines outside the region is intense and the lack of adequate infrastructure and political stability continue to hinder growth potential.
Globally, airlines saw a 6.1 per cent growth in demand (measured in freight tonne kilometers or FTK) for air freight in November 2013 over the same month in the previous year, according to the Iata report.
November’s performance is an improvement on the 4.4 per cent year-on-year demand expansion recorded in October. This continues an improvement trend in the weak air cargo markets which has been developing over 2013.
Asia-Pacific carriers, who account for some 40 per cent of the market, reported 4.9 per cent growth, more than doubling the 1.8 per cent growth of October.
Healthy demand coupled with a slower expansion in capacity helped to improve the average load factor to 49.2 per cent which is 0.7 percentage points above the previous November.
“The November results are encouraging—particularly for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. This good news is largely being driven by improving economic prospects in China along with an overall boost on Asian trade routes. The uptick is a welcome development in a weak performing market. Overall volumes, when adjusted for seasonality, are still below the peaks reached in 2010 and 2011,” said Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and CEO. – TradeArabia News Service