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GCC Air Freight Transport Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

GCC Air Freight Transport Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • October 2021
  • 276 pages
  • ID: 6177378
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The GCC air freight transport market is expected to witness a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period of 2021-2026. The GCC air freight and logistics market has been growing steadily, mainly driven by the continued rapid growth of e-commerce in the region and the growth of international trade. Manufacturing, technology, general trade, food and beverage, engineering and construction, and oil and gas industries are driving demand in the air freight and logistics industry.

During the COVID-19 period, with the implementation of the global lockdown, the GCC countries also had a negative impact on their air freight and logistics market. Strict containment measures were taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which led to a sharp decline in economic and trade activities. Some of these measures include imposing travel restrictions, border closures, and blockades, which have affected the freight capacity and flow of goods in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Automation, robotics, self-driving vehicles, and big data analysis are expected to change or disrupt air freight and logistics service products.

The location of the region in trans-continental trade has promoted its focus on the development of domestic and transit commodity logistics hubs. In order to take advantage of the geographical advantages, the governments of the Gulf countries are investing heavily in the improvement and expansion of their airport infrastructure.

Key Market Trends

Growing E-commerce in United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is rapidly growing into the fastest growing e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As digitalization becomes the future of the United Arab Emirates, e-commerce has also grown. High Internet usage and smartphone penetration are one of the main driving forces for the growth of the e-commerce market in the United Arab Emirates. A significant advancement in digital technology has led to a dramatic increase in active mobile internet users. The logistics industry in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region is developing rapidly, thanks to the increase in the contribution of non-oil sectors to GDP, the development of infrastructure, the rise of free trade zones and industrial parks, and the increase in trade cooperation. During the rebound phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the support of government initiatives, the region may adopt a digital transformation plan, calling on both the government and the private sectors to apply digital technology.

COVID-19 has Negatively Impacted Air Transportation Industry

The Gulf Council is an important hub for the international aviation industry. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hits the aviation industry, Dubai International Airport was one of the busiest airports in the world, especially in terms of passenger traffic, with passenger throughput exceeding 86.3 million in 2019. In the Gulf Cooperation Council region, Doha International Airport follows closely behind, with 30 million passengers. In terms of fuel costs, the Gulf Cooperation Council region is known for its oil reserves. Therefore, compared with other operating regions, GCC-based airlines may benefit from lower fuel prices.

The increase in maritime transport efficiency and the consequent reduction in fares, coupled with the enhancement of global supply chains, customs, and trade mechanisms, are driving the reduction of air cargo. Although air transportation attracts certain customers at the high end of high-value products, certain market segments (such as perishables) are now seeking access to other modes of transportation.

Competitive Landscape

The GCC air freight transport market is competitive and fragmented, with many international and local players actively competing for market share. The technology integration in the logistics sector is high, and the emergence of digital players in the pool is increasing. E-commerce growth has also helped in the emergence of digital players in the region. With the overall logistics infrastructure in the country developing rapidly, the rivalry within the industry is expected to be fueled further. Major players are FedEx, DHL, Qatar Airways Group, Qatar Aviation Services, and Jazeera Airways Co.

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