Middle East: Freighter demand will remain strong in ME

Boosted by the demand for goods and the regional economic boom, the freighter fleet in the Middle East is expected to double in the next 20 years, along with a projected increase in global fleet for freighters. The global air cargo market is expected to triple its growth over the next two decades, averaging 5.8 […]


Boosted by the demand for goods and the regional economic boom, the freighter fleet in the Middle East is expected to double in the next 20 years, along with a projected increase in global fleet for freighters.

The global air cargo market is expected to triple its growth over the next two decades, averaging 5.8 per cent annually and with the freighter fleet nearly doubling in size to 3,892 aircraft from the current 1,948 freighters, according to Boeing.

Boeing said the growth rate will mean that a total of 3,358 freighters will enter the fleet, assuming that 1,414 freighters are retired.

The Middle East region will invest more than US$260 billion over the next 20 years to expand its air fleet and a significant number of planes will be dedicated for the freight business given the demand for fast deliveries in the region.

While the Middle East is experiencing a slowdown in growth for air freight, it continues to outperform the industry. The International Air Transport Association (Iata) forecasts the air freight industry growth to fall from last year’s 4.8 per cent to about four per cent this year, while the regional air freight is expecting to grow by an average of eight per cent compared to 10 per cent last year.

"The current slowdown in air freight does not dampen the hopes this region has in expanding its air freight business. The effect is insignificant and we hope that faster growth will be regained in the coming years," said Peter Sedgley, Senior Vice-President for Cargo at Emirates Skycargo.