Global volumes also see strong growth
According to the latest figures release by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Middle East air cargo carriers posted an 8.8% rise in international cargo volumes in February versus February 2019.
Of the region’s key international routes, Middle East-Asia and Middle East-North America have provided the most significant support, rising 27% and 17% respectively in February compared to February 2019.
February capacity however, was down 14.9% compared to the same month in 2019.
Global air cargo markets are also continuing to outperform pre-COVID levels with demand up 9% over February 2019.
February demand also showed strong month-on-month growth over January 2021 levels. Volumes have now returned to 2018 levels seen prior to the US-China trade war.
IATA’s Director General said Willie Walsh said: “Air cargo demand is not just recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, it is growing. With demand at 9% above pre-crisis levels (Feb 2019), one of the main challenges for air cargo is finding sufficient capacity.
"This makes cargo yields a bright spot in an otherwise bleak industry situation. It also highlights the need for clarity on government plans for a safe industry restart.
"Understanding how passenger demand could recover will indicate how much belly capacity will be available for air cargo. Being able to efficiently plan that into air cargo operations will be a key element for overall recovery.”