Air freight continues decline, down 4.7% in Oct

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released global traffic figures for October showing cargo demand down 4.7 per cent below the same month in 2010 .


cargo demand IATA International Air Transport Association Tony Tyler


 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released global traffic figures for October showing cargo demand down 4.7 per cent below the same month in 2010 while passenger traffic showed a 3.6 per cent rise over previous year levels.

The confidence of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector has fallen to its lowest level since 2009 and this loss of confidence appears to have caused shippers to switch some transport needs to slower and cheaper sea options to the detriment of air freight, according to IATA.

“Cargo is the story of the month. Since mid-year the market has shrunk by almost 5 per cent and this is far greater than the 1 per cent fall in world trade. Air freight is among the first sectors to suffer when businesses confidence declines,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO. While business confidence has declined considerably in recent months, industrial output has not. But in anticipation of weaker economic activity, there is a shift to cheaper and slower modes of transport, IATA noted.

 Airlines have responded to weaker demand by cutting their freighter fleet. But this has not stopped a steady and substantial five percentage point fall in freight load factors compared to their early 2010 peak owing to capacity entering the market via wide-bodied passenger aircraft.