Executive Briefings

'Modest Gains' May Be New Normal for Dubai's Cooling Air Freight Market

Dubai's new freight hub is now handling about a third of the emirate's air freight, as both regional airports posted middling first half numbers, reflecting a regional downturn.

Freight volumes at Dubai World Central (DWC) rose 3.2 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) to 443,835 tonnes during the first half of 2017. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports accredited the rise to "both scheduled and chartered carriers contributing to traffic volumes at the airport." Those scheduled and charter numbers took a sharp upward turn in 2014 when authorities redirected all freighter flights to the newer DWC, from the Dubai International Airport (DXB) to the north. That growth seems to have leveled off now.

DXB might be off limits to freighters, but the older airport is still handling Emirate’s extensive belly-freight volumes. During the first half of 2017, air cargo volumes rose 1.6 percent to 1,302,911 tonnes over the same period in 2016.

DXB’s half-year gains were depressed by a slow June, during which time the airport saw a contraction of 4.6 percent y-o-y to 215,668 tonnes of freight, compared to 226,174 tonnes during June 2016.

Numbers like these are further evidence that market conditions have changed, and that Gulf carriers can no longer count on double-digit gains driven by rapid expansion into new markets.

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Freight volumes at Dubai World Central (DWC) rose 3.2 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) to 443,835 tonnes during the first half of 2017. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports accredited the rise to "both scheduled and chartered carriers contributing to traffic volumes at the airport." Those scheduled and charter numbers took a sharp upward turn in 2014 when authorities redirected all freighter flights to the newer DWC, from the Dubai International Airport (DXB) to the north. That growth seems to have leveled off now.

DXB might be off limits to freighters, but the older airport is still handling Emirate’s extensive belly-freight volumes. During the first half of 2017, air cargo volumes rose 1.6 percent to 1,302,911 tonnes over the same period in 2016.

DXB’s half-year gains were depressed by a slow June, during which time the airport saw a contraction of 4.6 percent y-o-y to 215,668 tonnes of freight, compared to 226,174 tonnes during June 2016.

Numbers like these are further evidence that market conditions have changed, and that Gulf carriers can no longer count on double-digit gains driven by rapid expansion into new markets.

Read Full Article