Sharp drop in air freight de­mand in the Mid­dle East

Cargo de­mand, mea­sured in cargo tonne kilo­me­ters, falls more than 36% in Mid­dle East re­gion amid sharpest ever recorded fall in global de­mand

Logistics Middle East - - UPDATE -

Cargo de­mand in the Mid­dle East fell sharply in April as global air freight de­mand suf­fered its big­gest-ever drop amid the coro­n­avirus crunch. Mid­dle Eastern car­ri­ers re­ported a de­cline of 36.2% year-on-year in April, sig­nif­i­cantly worse than a 14.1% fall in March, and worse than the global av­er­age of 27.7%.

“There is a se­vere ca­pac­ity crunch in air cargo,” said Alexan­dre de Ju­niac, CEO of the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA), which re­leased the data on global air freight mar­kets. Even though de­mand plum­meted, there was still in­suf­fi­cient ca­pac­ity in April to meet de­mand as a re­sult of the loss of belly cargo op­er­a­tions on pas­sen­ger air­craft. “Ca­pac­ity was down 42% be­cause of the sharp cuts in pas­sen­ger op­er­a­tions which also carry cargo. The re­sult is dam­ag­ing global sup­ply chains with longer ship­ping times and higher costs,” said Mr de Ju­niac. “Air­lines are de­ploy­ing as much ca­pac­ity as pos­si­ble, in­clud­ing spe­cial charter op­er­a­tions and the tem­po­rary use of pas­sen­ger cab­ins for cargo. Govern­ments need to con­tinue to en­sure that vi­tal sup­ply lines re­main open and ef­fi­cient. “While many have re­sponded with speed and clar­ity to fa­cil­i­tate the move­ment of cargo, govern­ment red-tape—par­tic­u­larly in Africa and Latin Amer­ica—is pre­vent­ing the in­dus­try from flex­i­bly de­ploy­ing air­craft to meet the de­mands of the pan­demic and the global econ­omy.” African air­lines mean­while were less af­fected by dis­rup­tions from Covid-19 than other re­gions in April. They saw year-on-year in­ter­na­tional CTKs fall by 20.9%. The small Africa-Asia mar­ket was the most re­silient route in April, down only 1%. In­ter­na­tional ca­pac­ity de­creased 36.6%.

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