ME growth props up air cargo growth figures

Global aviation traffic results for May deteriorated along with the world’s economic situation, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). May freight demand was 1.9 per cent below previous year levels. Compared to April, the freight market contracted by 0.4 per cent.


ME growth props up air cargo growth figures


Since then, they have basically moved sideways with just a 1.5 per cent improvement on that level by May. The freight load factor stood at 45.3 per cent, unchanged from the previous month but 1.2 percentage points below May 2011 levels.

Taking a broader perspective, air freight has improved by a small 1.5 per cent since hitting bottom in 2011. But this growth has been narrowly focused on the Middle East carriers. In addition to reporting a 12.4 per cent, year-overyear, increase in freight traffic, airlines decline in demand in May compared to the previous year, while capacity dipped just 1.7 per cent.

While passenger demand was 4.5 per cent ahead of levels in May 2011, growth was virtually flat compared to April. “The airline industry is fragile,” warned IATA’s director general and CEO, Tony
Tyler. “Relief in oil prices provides some good news. Unfortunately, it came on the back of fears European economy is deteriorating. Business and consumer confidence are falling.”

Now IATA is seeing slowing demand and softer load factors. “This does not bode well for industry profitability. Airlines are expected to return a US$3 billion profit in 2012 on $631 billion in revenues. That’s a razor-thin 0.5 per cent margin,” he pointed out. in the Middle East raised capacity by 11.7 per cent, year-over-year, in May. IATA also revealed that Middle Eastern carriers captured more than half of the total airfreight growth reported so far this
year.