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Middle East Region's Boom in Air Cargo Demand Continues in March
At 9.2% year-on-year rise posts strongest growth of all regions
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released March 2021 data for air cargo markets showing Middle Eastern carriers posted a 9.2% rise in international cargo volumes in March 2021 versus March 2019.
Month-on-month, Middle East carriers posted the strongest growth of all regions, up 4.4%.
Of the region’s key international routes, Middle East-North America and Middle East-Asia have provided the most significant support, rising 28% and 17% respectively in March compared to March 2019.
March international capacity in the Middle East was down 12.4% compared to the same month in 2019.
Meanwhile, global demand was up 4.4% compared to March 2019 and 0.4% compared to February 2021.
This was a slower rate of growth than the previous month, which saw demand increase 9.2% compared to February 2019.
A weaker performance by Asia-Pacific and African carriers compared to February contributed to softer growth in March.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General said: “Air cargo continues to be the bright spot for aviation. Demand reached an all-time high in March, up 4.4% compared to pre-COVID levels (March 2019). And airlines are taking all measures to find the needed capacity.
"The crisis has shown that air cargo can meet fundamental challenges by adopting innovations quickly.
"That is how it is meeting growing demand even as much of the passenger fleet remains grounded. The sector needs to retain this momentum post-crisis to drive the sector’s long-term efficiency with digitalization.”