Middle East airlines’ freight volumes rise and capacity grows

Freight demand between the Middle East and Europe remained strong, the International Air Transport Association said. (Photo courtesy: Emirates SkyCargo)
Updated 06 July 2017

Middle East airlines’ freight volumes rise and capacity grows

DUBAI: Middle East airlines’ freight volumes rose 10.2 percent in May and capacity increased 1.7 percent in May, reversing the 3.1 percent decline in April, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said.
Demand between the Middle East and Europe remained strong, with freight ton kilometers (FTKs) flown in the segment up 19 percent so far, while traffic to and from Asia has weakened, growing by just over 1 percent.
FTKs measure how much freight business an airline gets. The total FTKs for every flight stage flown by every aircraft over a period is the FTK of an airline over the period.
Meanwhile, international freight volumes grew at a faster 12.7 percent in May year-on-year, compared with the 8.7 percent expansion registered the previous month. This was also more than three times higher than the five-year average growth rate of 3.8 percent.
The continued growth in airfreight demand was consistent with an uptick in global trade as new export orders were near a six-year high in May. With an improvement in business activities, companies had to replenish their inventories quickly, giving air cargo operators as they helped allow firms restock quickly at the onset of pick-ups in the economic cycle.
“May was another good month for air cargo. Demand growth accelerated, bolstered by strong export orders. And that outpaced capacity growth which should be positive for yields. But the industry can’t afford to rest on its laurels. With indications that the cyclical growth period may have peaked, the onus is on the industry to improve its value proposition by accelerating process modernization and enhancing customer-centricity,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and chief executive said in a statement.
Elsewhere, Asia-Pacific airlines’ freight volumes expanded 11.3 percent in May compared with the same period a year before and capacity increased by 6.2 percent.
Demand growth has been strongest – between 13 percent and 15 percent – on international routes within Asia as well as between Asia and Europe.
North American carriers posted an increase in freight volumes of 13.9 percent in May, and capacity increased 4.1 percent.

European airlines meanwhile posted a 15 percent increase in freight volumes in May and a capacity improvement of 5.7 percent, with airlines benefiting from strong demand on the Europe-Asia market.
The ongoing weakness of the euro persists in boosting the performance of the European freight market, which continues to benefit from strong export orders, Iata said.
Latin American carriers were the only segment that posted single-digit demand growth, at 6.7 percent, in May. Capacity increased by 7.1 percent over the same period.
The region’s carriers have managed to adjust capacity, which has limited the negative impact on the load factor, Iata said.
African carriers meanwhile posted the largest year-on-year improvement in demand of all regions in May, with freight volumes growing 27.6 percent. Capacity increased by 14.7 percent over the same time period.
Demand has been boosted by very strong growth on the trade lanes to and from Asia, which have increased by nearly 57 percent so far this year.


Leaders descend on Beijing for Bloomberg problem-solving forum

Updated 21 November 2019

Leaders descend on Beijing for Bloomberg problem-solving forum

  • The two-day event aims to encourage solutions from the private sector to some of the big challenges the global economy faces today
  • Some 500 senior leaders will attend the gathering, of which about 200 will come from Chinese institutions

Thought leaders from the business world and the global political scene are descending on the Chinese capital Beijing for the New Economy Forum (NEF) run by the information and media giant Bloomberg.

The two-day event aims to encourage solutions from the private sector to some of the big challenges the global economy faces today — trade, climate change, technology and financial volatility. It will also prioritize issues of inclusion, urbanization and governance.

Justin Smith, chief executive officer of Bloomberg Media, told Arab News — which is a media partner for the event — that some 500 delegates would attend the forum, with about 200 coming from institutions within China.

“The reason we’re bringing people together is to produce a platform for discussion between people who represent the new global economy. There is a whole new class of people from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America who are not represented well in the ‘legacy gatherings’ that take place, which are typically more American and European oriented.

“The idea is to enable people at a principle level — chief executives, ministers, leaders — to have substantive conversations to find solutions to global problems and help mitigate the big issues the world faces. This is not just a talking shop,” he said.

Some 500 senior leaders will attend the gathering, of which about 200 will come from Chinese institutions. “There will be a big Chinese involvement, but this is because of how important China is in the global economy. This really is a one-of-a-kind gathering,” Smith said.

The opening keynote will be delivered by a senior member of the leadership of the Peoples Republic, whose identity has not been officially disclosed amid tight security at the conference venue outside Beijing city center.

While the issue of trade wars between China and the US will be a big issue at the gathering, Smith said that it was not the most important one. “This is not a US-China gathering — it is a global gathering located in Beijing,” he said.

Americans attending the event include former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, as well as Hank Paulson, who was Treasury secretary during the global financial crisis, and Janet Yellen, former chair of the US Federal Reserve.

There is a significant delegation from the Middle East, including Saudi business leader Lubna Olayan, as well as executives and policy-makers from other Arabian Gulf countries.

“The Middle East’s role in the new economy is critical. It has increasingly deep ties with China, but also has strong links with Europe and the West. They are in between western capitalism and state capitalism,” Smith said.