According to November data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for air freight markets, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), for the Middle East region, volumes expanded 1.7% in November 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier.
Freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), increased by 7.8% over the same period.
The region’s seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand has now trended upwards for the past six months helped by stronger trade to/from Europe and Asia.
Meanwhile, global freight grwoth was flat (0%) in November 2018, compared to the same period the year before.
This was the slowest rate of growth recorded since March 2016, following 31 consecutive months of year-on-year increases.
Global freight capacity rose by 4.3% year-on-year in November 2018. This was the ninth month in a row that capacity growth outstripped demand.
While international e-commerce continues to grow, overall demand faced significant headwinds due to a number of factors: signs of weakness in global economic activity; a contraction in export order books with the exception of the US; shorter supplier delivery times in Asia and Europe; and weakened consumer confidence.
Said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO: “Normally the fourth quarter is a peak season for air cargo. So essentially flat growth in November is a big disappointment.
“While our outlook is for 3.7% demand growth in 2019, downside risks are mounting. Trade tensions are cause for great concern. We need governments to focus on enabling growth through trade, not barricading their borders through punitive tariffs.”