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            may 26, 2018

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Middle East air cargo growth slows to seven-year low in 2016


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show that Middle East air cargo growth has slowed to a seven-year low, according to Shipping Gazette.
Meanwhile, 2016 global air freight demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) grew 3.8 per cent year on year, near doubling industry-wide growth over the last five years.
Regional freight volumes increased 11.2 per cent year on year in December and capacity increased 5.9 per cent, IATA said.
It added that this contributed to an annual increase in demand of 6.9 per cent in 2016 ?the second fastest growth rate of all the regions.
But this was the region's slowest pace of growth since 2009 and well below the 12 per cent average annual rate seen over the past decade.
IATA said the slowdown in growth was mainly due to weak freight volumes between the Middle East and Asia, and the Middle East and Europe.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), increased by 5.3 per cent in 2016.
All regions, with the exception of Latin America, experienced positive freight growth in 2016. Carriers in Europe accounted for almost half of the total annual increase in demand, IATA said.
"In terms of demand, 2016 was a good year for air cargo. That was boosted by solid year-end performance. Looking ahead, strong export orders are good news. But there are headwinds," said IATA. "The most significant is stagnant world trade which also faces the risk of protectionist measures," said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac.
Asia-Pacific carriers saw demand in freight volumes grow 9.8 per cent in December as capacity grew 5.7 per cent year on year.
This contributed to a growth in freight demand of 2.1 per cent, below the 2.3 per cent increase seen the previous year. The increase in demand is captured in the positive outlook from business surveys in the region.
North American airlines saw freight demand increase 3.7 per cent in December year on year and capacity decrease 1.4 per cent. This contributed to modest annual growth in 2016 of 2.0%, up from 1.3 per cent the previous year. Capacity grew by 3.4 per cent in the 2016 calendar year.
The strength of the US dollar continued to boost its inbound market but kept the export market under pressure.
European airlines posted a 16.4 per cent year-on-year increase in freight demand in December and a capacity rise of 5.9 per cent. The healthy results helped boost cargo volumes for the 2016 calendar year by 7.6 per cent - the largest increase of all regions, and accounting for almost half of the total global annual increase in freight demand.
The seasonally-adjusted growth trend is strong and corresponds with the sustained increase in export orders in Germany and the ongoing weakness in the euro. Capacity in the region increased by 6.7 per cent in the 2016 calendar year.

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