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In August, air cargo demand in the Middle East slumped to its lowest rate in seven years, despite increasing capacity.

Demand in the Middle East grew only 1.8% year-on-year, while capacity increased by 6.9%.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the drop in rate is due in part to slower growth in trade between the Middle East and Asia, where Middle Eastern airlines are contending with competition from Europe. Europe has reported the highest annual growth globally three times in the last four months.

Global year-on-year air cargo rates rose 3.9% in August, though industry experts do not foresee much in the way of improvement in the coming months.

Alexandre de Juniac, director general and chief executive of IATA, observes that political sentiment worldwide is presently focused on protectionism than on trade promotion, to the detriment of growth.

(Source: The National)

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