Friday, 1 May 2015

The new silk road

Full article in PDF format

With so many column inches about the Gulf carriers devoted to their fast-expanding passenger operations, it is easy to forget that Qatar Airways, Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways carry more than just human cargo. Beneath the main decks of their passenger aircraft, the region’s big three airlines are also driving rapid growth in freight traffic over Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – turning the Gulf into a bridging point for goods as much as travellers.

The numbers are staggering, even for a sector long associated with breakneck expansion. Middle Eastern carriers nearly tripled their share of global air cargo traffic from 4% to 11% between 2003 and 2013, according to US aircraft manufacturer Boeing...