Middle Eastern airlines remain the fastest growing market with demand for air freight increasing by 16.3 per cent in January compared to January last year.  

Capacity expansion grew at 12.4 per cent in the same month, according to the latest statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The next fastest region in terms of growth was Asia-Pacific, which saw year-on-year growth of 7.1 per cent in January.

Latin American airlines were the only region to report a decline in demand, with a 1.6 per cent fall in January compared to the previous year.

Middle Eastern growth has been put down to the continued route and capacity expansion of the airlines, particularly into new markets in West Africa and Asia.

Globally, freight demand statistics for January show a stabilisation of air freight markets, with demand growing by five per cent.  However, the IATA notes that due to the timing of Chinese New Year, which occurred in February this year, this year-on-year comparison is slightly inaccurate. Last January, many factories in China would have been closed for the holiday period, reducing demand for freight transport.

Year-on-year, global freight capacity expanded by 2.1 per cent and global load factor stood at 41.9 per cent.