Middle East airlines have recorded a strong growth of 7.8 per cent in cargo volumes this August, outpacing the growth of European and American carriers, latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed.
The growth in August was slightly below the year-to-date average of 9.6 per cent but capacity was up six per cent.
“The Middle East continues to expand strongly on its growing links to developing markets, as well as diversifying into important commodities such as perishables,” IATA said in a statement.
Globally, cargo volumes rose 5.1 per cent year-on-year in August marking the second strong month for cargo volumes in a row following the 6.1 per cent year-on-year rise recorded in July.
Meanwhile, capacity grew at a slower pace of 3.4 per cent from the same period last year.
African airlines recorded the strongest cargo growth in August posting a 9.2 per cent increase while Asian and North American carriers posted rises of 6.3 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively.
However, growth in Europe and Latin America airlines lagged as a result of Brazilian economic weakness and EU sanctions on business with Russia respectively, IATA said.
“The outlook for air cargo is clearly getting better,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
“However, there are some limiting factors on the extent of potential gains. Demand for air cargo is growing more slowly than global economic activity.
“Businesses are reported to have more confidence in the future, but the list of political and economic risks continues to moderate how that confidence translates into actual activity.”
Despite geopolitical disturbances across the world, Gulf airlines are primed for strong growth and have been ramping up their air cargo fleets.
According to a report by research firm Alpen Capital, air cargo traffic in the GCC is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.2 per cent until 2032.