Middle East air cargo market: Resilience in tough times

Over the years, the Middle East region has undergone an unprecedented transformation to become an important centre for regional economic growth, which has also led to an increase in trade.

Aviation stakeholders continued to capitalise on the strategic location of airports in the Middle East. Significant capacity expansions positioned the region’s airports as aviation’s primary hubs for intercontinental travel.

According to the recent report released by Airports Council International, Middle East airports recorded the highest increase in airfreight compared with other regions (4.5 percent). At the country level, Qatar was the largest contributor to air freight growth in the region with Doha reporting a 20.4 percent growth rate for the first half of the year, equivalent to an additional 138,320 tonnes of cargo.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport is one of the top airports in the Middle East region. The airport is home to Qatar Airways Cargo, the third largest cargo airline in the world.

Dubai International (DXB) saw 3.8 percent rise in air cargo volume to 1,282,025 tonnes during the first half of 2016 compared to 1,233,378 tonnes during the same period in 2015. DXB handled 226,175 tonnes of freight in June compared to 217,896 tonnes during the same month last year, an increase of 3.9 percent.