GCC Air Freight Transport Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)

The GCC Air Cargo Transport Market Report is Segmented by Services (Forwarding, Airlines, Mail, and Other Services), Destination (Domestic and International), and Country (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and the Rest of GCC). The Report Offers Market Size and Forecasts for the GCC Air Freight Transport Market in Value (USD) for all the Above Segments.

GCC Air Freight Transport Market Size

GCC Air Freight Transport Market Summary
Study Period 2020-2029
Base Year For Estimation 2023
Market Size (2024) USD 16.81 Billion
Market Size (2029) USD 24.08 Billion
CAGR (2024 - 2029) 7.46 %
Market Concentration Medium

Major Players

GCC Air Freight Transport Market Major Players

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order


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GCC Air Freight Transport Market Analysis

The GCC Air Freight Transport Market size is estimated at USD 16.81 billion in 2024, and is expected to reach USD 24.08 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 7.46% during the forecast period (2024-2029).

  • According to IATA’s May 2023 data, cargo volumes for the Middle East carriers decreased by 6.8 percent year-over-year in April of 2023. This was a slight decrease from the 5.5 percent in March 2023. However, compared to April of 2022, the capacity grew by 10%.
  • This could be due to the air freight industry adapting to the recovery of passenger demand, which brings with it belly capacity. However, IATA also noted some tailwinds, such as an improvement in the purchasing managers index in April, which is a sign of global export demand and of an improving purchasing manager’s index in China.
  • The location of the region in trans-continental trade has promoted its focus on the development of domestic and transit commodity logistics hubs. 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.
  • The Middle East will become one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets in the next ten years due to the massive economic transformation that many Gulf and other countries are undergoing, and many of them have become key transportation hubs for people and cargo, as well as the expansion of aviation into Africa and the success of cargo operations in countries such as Turkey and a number of Gulf countries.
  • The GCC air freight market is likely to experience a temporary downturn in the near future due to a lack of demand and an oversupply of both air and ocean cargo capacity, which has caused rates to drop drastically.
  • In the medium to long term, air cargo is expected to grow in the GCC region as a result of government policies and partnerships, as well as moves towards integration and cooperation. This will help to improve the efficiency of multimodal networks and facilitate trade.

GCC Air Freight Transport Market Trends

Booming international segment

  • The GCC region has been experiencing a significant increase in air cargo demand, particularly in the international segment. This is driven by various factors, including the rise of e-commerce, globalization, and the region's strategic location as a hub for trade between Asia, Europe, and Africa. The demand for air cargo services has been steadily rising, creating opportunities for airlines and logistics companies.
  • The GCC countries have been actively diversifying their economies, reducing their reliance on oil and gas. This has led to increased trade activities and economic growth, which in turn has boosted the demand for air cargo services. The international segment of the air cargo market has benefited from the expansion of industries such as manufacturing, retail, and e-commerce.
  • The region has witnessed rapid growth in e-commerce, with more consumers embracing online shopping. This has resulted in increased cross-border trade and a surge in international air cargo shipments. E-commerce players are relying on air cargo services to ensure fast and efficient delivery of goods to customers across borders, creating immense opportunities for logistics providers.
  • To meet the growing demand for air cargo services, the GCC countries have been investing in expanding and upgrading their aviation infrastructure. This includes the construction of new airports, expansion of existing facilities, and implementation of advanced technologies. These infrastructure investments enhance the capacity and efficiency of the international air cargo market, attracting more players and fostering growth.
GCC Air Freight Transport Market - Volume of air-freight transport, in billion ton-km, Qatar, 2013 -2028

Robust growth projection for Saudi Arabia

  • The air cargo industry in Saudi Arabia experienced significant growth in 2023. With the country's strategic location and strong economic growth, the demand for air cargo services has been on the rise.
  • The country has been actively diversifying its economy and promoting trade. This has led to an increase in import and export activities, driving the need for efficient air cargo transportation. The country's focus on sectors like manufacturing, petrochemicals, and e-commerce has contributed to the growth of the air cargo industry.
  • To meet the growing demand, Saudi Arabia has been investing in the expansion and development of its airports. For example, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh have undergone significant upgrades to handle larger volumes of air cargo. These expansions have improved the capacity and efficiency of air cargo transportation.
  • Saudi Arabia has established strong air cargo connectivity with major global markets. Airlines operating in the country have expanded their networks, connecting Saudi Arabia to key destinations worldwide. This enhanced international connectivity has facilitated the movement of goods and contributed to the growth of the air cargo industry.
  • The air cargo industry in Saudi Arabia has embraced technological advancements to enhance efficiency and streamline operations. Automation, digitalization, and advanced tracking systems have improved cargo handling, tracking, and documentation processes. These technological advancements have contributed to the overall growth and effectiveness of air cargo transportation.
Gcc Air Freight Transport Market - Cargo quantities of Saudi Arabia's international airports, in 1,000 tons, 2010 - 2022

GCC Air Freight Transport Industry Overview

The GCC air freight forwarding market is highly competitive and fragmented, with many international and local players actively competing for market share. Technology integration in the logistics industry is high, and the emergence of digital players in the pool is increasing.

The growth of e-commerce also contributes to the emergence of digital players in the region. Competition within the industry is expected to intensify as the entire domestic logistics infrastructure develops rapidly. Major players are FedEx, DHL, Qatar Airways Group, Qatar Airways Services, and Jazeera Airways.

GCC Air Freight Transport Market Leaders

  1. FedEx

  2. DHL

  3. Qatar Airways Group

  4. Qatar Aviation Services

  5. Jazeera Airways Co.

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

GCC Air Freight Transport Market Concentration
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GCC Air Freight Transport Market News

  • November 2023: United Parcel Service (UPS) finalized its acquisition of Minnesota-based MNX, a global provider of time-sensitive logistics solutions. This acquisition strengthens UPS's capabilities in time-sensitive logistics, particularly benefiting healthcare clients in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
  • October 2023: DHL, a global freight forwarder, successfully acquired full control of UAE-based freight forwarder Danzas AEI Emirates. DHL now owns 40%, and Investment Trading Group (ITG) owns 60%, with the remaining 60% held by the Al Tayer group. DHL emphasizes that the seamless integration of Danzas will contribute to accelerated growth in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the GCC, and the Middle East.

GCC Air Freight Transport Market Report - Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study


    1. 2.1 Analysis Methodology

    2. 2.2 Research Phases



    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario

    2. 4.2 Technological Trends

    3. 4.3 Government Regulations and Initiatives

    4. 4.4 Supply Chain/Value Chain Analysis

    5. 4.5 Spotlight on Key Commodities Transported by Air

    6. 4.6 Elaboration on Air Freight Rates

    7. 4.7 Insights into Key Ground Handling Equipment in Airports

    8. 4.8 Insights on Air Freight Carriers by Type (Belly Cargo and Freighter)

    9. 4.9 Review and Commentary on Standards and Regulations on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods

    10. 4.10 Brief on Cold Chain Logistics in Air Cargo Sector

    11. 4.11 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market


    1. 5.1 Drivers

      1. 5.1.1 Economic expansion

      2. 5.1.2 Trade liberalization

    2. 5.2 Restraints

      1. 5.2.1 Regulatory barriers

      2. 5.2.2 Security concerns

    3. 5.3 Opportunities

      1. 5.3.1 Trade facilitation intiatives

      2. 5.3.2 Cross-border connectivity

    4. 5.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 5.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 5.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers/Buyers

      3. 5.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 5.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 5.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 6.1 By Services

      1. 6.1.1 Forwarding

      2. 6.1.2 Airlines

      3. 6.1.3 Mail

      4. 6.1.4 Other Services

    2. 6.2 By Destination

      1. 6.2.1 Domestic

      2. 6.2.2 International

    3. 6.3 By Country

      1. 6.3.1 Saudi Arabia

      2. 6.3.2 United Arab Emirates

      3. 6.3.3 Qatar

      4. 6.3.4 Rest of GCC


    1. 7.1 Overview

    2. 7.2 Company Profiles

      1. 7.2.1 FedEx

      2. 7.2.2 DHL

      3. 7.2.3 Qatar Airways Group

      4. 7.2.4 Qatar Aviation Services

      5. 7.2.5 Jazeera Airways Co.

      6. 7.2.6 Saudi Airlines Cargo Company Limited

      7. 7.2.7 Etihad Aviation Group

      8. 7.2.8 Maximus Air

      9. 7.2.9 Air Charter Service

      10. 7.2.10 JAS Middle East LLC*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive
    4. 7.3 Other Companies


  9. 9. APPENDIX

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GCC Air Freight Transport Industry Segmentation

Airfreight is a transportation mode of delivering fast-speed shipments via aircraft, primarily for longer distances. The report offers a complete background analysis of the GCC air freight industry, including an assessment and contribution of the sector in the economy, market overview, market size estimation for key segments, key countries and emerging trends in the market segments, market dynamics, and key air freight parameters. The report also covers the impact of COVID-19 on the market.

The GCC air freight transportation market is segmented by services, by destination and by country. By services, the market is segmented by forwarding, airlines, mail, and other services. By destination, the market is segmented by domestic and international, and by country, the market is segmented by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and the Rest of GCC. 

The report offers market size and forecasts for the GCC air freight transport market in value (USD) for all the above segments.

By Services
Other Services
By Destination
By Country
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
Rest of GCC
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GCC Air Freight Transport Market Research FAQs

The GCC Air Freight Transport Market size is expected to reach USD 16.81 billion in 2024 and grow at a CAGR of 7.46% to reach USD 24.08 billion by 2029.

In 2024, the GCC Air Freight Transport Market size is expected to reach USD 16.81 billion.

FedEx, DHL, Qatar Airways Group, Qatar Aviation Services and Jazeera Airways Co. are the major companies operating in the GCC Air Freight Transport Market.

In 2023, the GCC Air Freight Transport Market size was estimated at USD 15.56 billion. The report covers the GCC Air Freight Transport Market historical market size for years: 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. The report also forecasts the GCC Air Freight Transport Market size for years: 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029.

GCC Air Freight Transport Industry Report

Statistics for the 2024 GCC Air Freight Transport market share, size and revenue growth rate, created by Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports. GCC Air Freight Transport analysis includes a market forecast outlook to 2029 and historical overview. Get a sample of this industry analysis as a free report PDF download.

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GCC Air Freight Transport Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)