Middle East carriers posted the fastest air cargo growth of any region in September, according to new data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Regional airlines registered an increase in demand of 6.6 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier.

This was more than double the pace of growth of other regions, IATA said in a statement.

It added that there are tentative signs of a pick-up in seasonally adjusted air cargo demand supported by more trade to/from Europe and Asia. Capacity grew 7.7 per cent year-on-year.

Globally, IATA said demand rose 2 per cent in September compared to the same period the year before. This pace of growth was relatively unchanged from the previous month but was less than half the five-year average growth rate of 5.1 per cent.

Freight capacity grew by 3.2 per cent year-on-year in September – the seventh month in a row that capacity growth outstripped demand.

“Weakening order books and longer delivery times are undercutting the need for air freight in many traditional markets. But there is also some positive news. For example, strong consumer confidence goes hand-in-hand with expanding international e-commerce trade to give air cargo a boost,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

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