Middle East airlines have recorded growth of 12.9 per cent in cargo volumes in November, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Regional carriers, along with those from Asia-Pacific, captured about 93 per cent of the global increase, the report added.
Out of this, air freight carriers in Asia-Pacific contributed 55 per cent of the growth while those in the Middle East accounted for 38 per cent of it.
Middle Eastern air cargo carriers also saw a 17.1 per cent increase in capacity in November, IATA said.
“The region’s efficient hubs continue to provide a strong platform for connecting long-haul freight shipments,” the report said.
Globally, air freight demand grew 4.2 per cent year-on-year while capacity grew by 3.3 per cent.
In line with the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, European and African carriers recorded a growth in air cargo demand in November.
Meanwhile, carriers in Latin America and North America saw a decline in air cargo demand, IATA noted.
“More goods are being traded internationally and that is fueling the growth in air freight,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
“It was clear in November that most of that growth is being captured by carriers in the dynamic and relatively business-friendly Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. This year we expect air freight markets to expand by 4.5 per cent, outpacing projected growth in world trade (4.0 per cent).
“But that optimism is tempered by the many macro-economic and political risks that continue to impact trade flows.”
Tyler added that the air freight industry still faces the challenge of turning the growth into profitability.
“The air cargo industry enters 2015 propelled by solid growth trend. To turn the growth into sustained stronger profitability, the air cargo industry faces the challenge of investing in more efficient and higher quality processes and facilities that will give it the winning edge over its competitors,” he said.