Mideast airfreight growth continues

The region did well and globally there is optimism but the Iata chief has raised some concerns

May 2014

Feight volumes carried by Middle East air carriers rose 11.9 per cent in February in continuance of the growth trend in the region.

The volume increase was fuelled by a stronger showing in developed economies and their 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 favour. 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,” said Tyler.

“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 Organisation’s agreement in Bali late last year gives hope for invigorated world trade. It’s important that governments keep their commitments.”

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