The Middle East is expected to be amongst the five of the ten fastest growing international freight markets in the next four years, according to an industry traffic forecast report published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Thursday.
The region, which is expected to have the third fastest growth rate at 6.6 percent in the International Freight Developments category, will see its international cargo demand growing at 4.9 percent in 2016, IATA reported.
The IATA said the UAE will be world’s sixth largest freight markets with 2.5 million tons of air cargo, behind the United States(7.7 million tons), Germany (4.2 million tons), China (3.5 million tons), Hong Kong (3.2 million tons) and Japan (2.9 million tons).
The emerging economies of Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America will also see the strongest passenger growth. This will be led by routes within or connected to China, which are expected to account for 193 million of the 831 million new passengers over the forecast period (159 million on domestic routes and 34 million traveling internationally).
“Despite the current economic uncertainty, expected demand for connectivity remains strong. That’s good news for the global economy. Growing air transport links generate jobs and underpin economic growth in all economies,” IATA’s director general and CEO, Tony Tyler said.
According to the report, there will be a total of some 3.6 billion passengers in 2016, which is about 800 million more than the 2.8 billion passengers carried by airlines in 2011.