An upbeat report about the potential for growth in the Middle East’s air transport sector has been released by Boeing World Air Cargo, which suggested that an increasing incidence of higher value cargoes that currently are being transported by sea could be shifted to air transport in future.
As reported in the Khaleej Times, an analysis of international commodity trade flow shows more than 32 percent of Middle East-Europe trade is made up of commodities valued at or above $16 per kilogram. The economics of such cargoes suggests that the overall Middle East air trade market could grow at a rate of 5.8 percent annually. Air trade with Asia should grow even faster—8 percent, according to the report—and air trade with North America rise at a 6 percent rate.
Internal Middle East air trade, which is forecast to grow 8 percent per annum, is expected to outperform air trade between the Middle East and the outside world. This is part id reflective of the increasing level of trade between countries of the region, and the geography of the area. Middle East air trade grew by 4.4 percent in 1998, increasing to nearly 6.4 percent last year in 1999.
There is, however, a clear tendency to use air transportation more for imports than for exports, although clearly is reflected on the types of commodities being imported and exported North American air imports to the region, for example, outnumber air exports by 1.5 to one. — (Albawaba-MEBG)