EUROPE & CIS: April cargo growth up on March: IATA

The latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicate that worldwide air freight markets (domestic and international) grew by 3.3 per cent in April, up from 1.3 per cent in March. On international air freight markets the improvement was also larger, with volume growth accelerating from 2.8 per cent in March to 5.4 […]


The latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicate that worldwide air freight markets (domestic and international) grew by 3.3 per cent in April, up from 1.3 per cent in March. On international air freight markets the improvement was also larger, with volume growth accelerating from 2.8 per cent in March to 5.4 per cent in April. But with a capacity increase of 12.3 per cent in April, the freight load factor was pushed down from 55.3 per cent in April 2010 to 51.9 per cent in April 2011. World trade has been expanding strongly in recent months, at close to a 10 per cent annual rate, but with little apparent benefit for air freight. Ocean transportation has seen the most recent benefits. This followed a very strong post-recession rebound in air freight when the need for businesses to restock led them to use air freight for this time sensitive inventory rebuild. That air freight expansion peaked just after the ash cloud closed much of Europe’s airspace last April. Since then the size of the air freight market has shrunk by six per cent, according to IATA. Asia-Pacific carriers saw a market contraction of 2.5 per cent, due to disruptions in the supply chains for autos and electronics in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. By contrast, European airlines are starting to benefit from improvement in international trade with IATA noting that the 12.9 per cent year-on-year growth for international freight recorded in April is a positive sign, albeit skewed by the volcanic ash disruptions of the previous year.