Gains in air cargo traffic come amid signs of regional economic improvement
Middle Eastern carriers post 4.6 per cent freight volume increase in October
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Middle Eastern carriers had a 4.6 per cent increase in freight volumes year-on-year in October amid increasing signs that regional economies are turning the corner following several slower years.
The growth of those carriers’ international freight volumes however slowed 4.7 per cent in October from 9.2 per cent the previous month, the global aviation body said.
“The recent volatility produced by the region in the year-on-year growth rate for international freight volumes is due to developments in demand in 2016 rather than a marked change in the current traffic trend,” Iata said.
“In fact, seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes have continued to trend upwards at a rate of 8 per cent to 10 per cent over the past six months.”
Alexandre de Juniac, the head of Iata, told The National in March that the region's air freight market is starting to show signs of improvement after eight years of stagnation.
Overall the profitability of commercial airlines in the region dropped to US$900 million in 2016 from $1.1 billion in 2015 on weaker demand in the wake of the 2014 oil price crash. Profit levels are forecast to fall to $300m in 2017 as overcapacity, price pressures, exchange rate volatility, security threats and political uncertainties affect all airlines in the Middle East this year.