Middle East-based airlines saw cargo volumes slump by 7 percent in June compared to the same month last year, weighed by weakening demand in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
According to new data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), capacity increased by 2.7 percent.
It said seasonally-adjusted demand has been falling since late 2018, and the latest data show volumes to Europe (down by 7.2 percent) and Asia-Pacific (down by 6.5 percent) were particularly weak.
Globally, IATA said air cargo demand decreased by 4.8 percent in June compared to the same period in 2018.
This marks the eighth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in freight volumes.
IATA said signs of a modest recovery in recent months appear to have been premature, with the June contraction broad-based across all regions with the exception of Africa. Capacity growth remains subdued and the cargo load factor continues to fall.
“Global trade continues to suffer as trade tensions—particularly between the US and China—deepen. As a result, air cargo markets continue to contract. Nobody wins a trade war. Borders that are open to trade spread sustained prosperity. That’s what our political leaders must focus on,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.