Air Cargo Carriers Hurt by Weak Dollar, Rising Oil Prices

Weak US dollar and high oil price is expected to hit the worldwide air cargo industry hard, according to a leading cargo mover in the air.

Speaking on the sidelines of Dubai Air Show, Ram Menen, cargo chief and vice president of Emirates SkyCargo, said that his company will stay out of the red with a flat performance for the whole of 2011.

"Right now, flat is good, purely because the world air cargo industry, and the shipping industry , is very down," he said.

Emirates SkyCargo is a subsidiary of Emirates Airline. Mr. Menen said the cargo division's results had been bolstered by relatively stronger performance in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and on the Indian subcontinent. He said that the carrier, which operates eight freighters as well as bellyhold space in the parent's fleet of 153 wide body aircraft, had shifted extra capacity to those markets.

Mr. Menen also remains "cautiously optimistic" about the air cargo industry's performance next year. "We are hoping we will be able to keep it flat, but having said that, if there is a Christmas rush in December, and if the sales are strong in Europe and the US that could trigger demand in the first quarter," he added.