Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes decreased 5.5% in July 2019, compared to the year-ago period, the sharpest drop in air cargo demand of any region, reported sister title Arabian Business.
Capacity increased by 0.2% as escalating trade tensions, the slowing in global trade and airline restructuring continue to impact performance, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Globally, IATA said that demand contracted by 3.2% in July compared to the same period in 2018, the ninth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in freight volumes.
It added that air cargo continues to suffer from weak global trade and the intensifying trade dispute between the US and China. Global trade volumes are 1.4% lower than a year ago and trade volumes between the US and China have fallen by 14% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2018.
Freight capacity rose by 2.6% year-on-year in July. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for the ninth consecutive month.
“Trade tensions are weighing heavily on the entire air cargo industry. Higher tariffs are disrupting not only transpacific supply chains but also worldwide trade lanes. While current tensions might yield short-term political gains, they could lead to long-term negative changes for consumers and the global economy. Trade generates prosperity. It is critical that the US and China work quickly to resolve their differences,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO.