Air cargo volumes carried by airlines in the Middle East increased by 1.3% in March compared to the same month last year, according to new figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
IATA said capacity in the region increased by 3.8%, adding that it has seen a clear downward trend in seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand with weakening air freight volumes to/from North America and to/from the Asia Pacific contributing to the softer performance.
Globally, IATA said air freight demand increased 0.1% in March compared to the same period in 2018.
While this is a significant improvement on the 4.9% contraction in February, in seasonally adjusted terms, demand is still down 1.5% over the past year, it added.
Freight capacity rose by 3.1% year-on-year in March. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for 11 out of the last 12 months.
IATA said demand for air cargo continues to face significant headwinds as global trade volumes have fallen by 1% over the past year and economic activity and consumer confidence continue to weaken.
Industry confidence regarding the outlook, however, remains relatively upbeat with only 13% of respondents from IATA’s Business Confidence Survey expecting to see a decrease in freight volumes in 2019 compared to 2018.
“Year-on-year demand for air freight edged back into positive territory in March with 0.1% growth. After four consecutive months of contraction, this is an encouraging development. But the headwinds from weakening global trade, growing trade tensions and shrinking order books have not gone away,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO.
Source: Arabian Business