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ME freightliners continue double-digit growth in Feb

Geneva, April 3, 2014

Middle Eastern carriers continued their double-digit growth in freight volumes in February, up 11.9 per cent compared to a year ago, benefiting from the stronger growth in developed economies and the expanding trade with emerging markets.

However, capacity grew slower than demand, by 9.2 per cent for the regional carriers, said the International Air Transport Association (Iata) in its report for global air freight markets.

Globally, the first two months of 2014 have seen an overall 3.6 per cent improvement in demand over the previous year. This continues the strengthening in cargo markets which began in the second half of 2013.

“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 per cent growth in demand recorded over the first two months of this year is a significant step up from the 1.4 per cent growth in demand over the whole of 2013,” said Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and CEO.

“There are, however, some serious trends which are not in the industry’s favor. Companies continue to ‘on-shore’ their manufacturing supply chains. The world’s top 20 economies implemented some 23 per cent more protectionist measures last year than in 2009.

“These factors are a major part of the reason why we are not seeing trade growth of 5-6 per cent, which we would expect to see at the current level of domestic production. Currently trade and domestic production growth is running at about the same level. The World Trade Organization’s agreement in Bali late last year gives hope for invigorated world trade. It’s important that governments keep their commitments,” added Tyler.

African airlines freight volumes fell 5.2 per cent, continuing the weakness that has been apparent in the continent since the fourth quarter of 2013. African freight volumes are often volatile month to month, but carriers have seen downward pressure on demand from the slowdown in major regional economies, particularly South Africa. Capacity grew 5.5 per cent.

Asia-Pacific carriers grew just 0.1 per cent in February, compared to a year ago, while North American airlines experienced a slight contraction of 0.3 per cent year on year.

European carriers have seen a steady increase in demand since mid-2013. The February year-on-year growth rate of 5.5 per cent was only slightly down from the 5.8 per cent recorded in January.

Latin American airlines saw solid 6.1 per cent growth in February, continuing a trend that started in the second half of 2013. Indicators for Latin America as a whole are positive.

Even the weakness in the region’s largest economy, Brazil, is expected to get a boost from the upcoming FIFA World Cup. Capacity in the region grew just 1.7 per cent. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Iata | cargo | Middle East carriers |

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