Fragile air cargo recovery continues: IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released figures showing a small improvement in air freight growth in October.


Fragile air cargo recovery continues: IATA


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released figures showing a small improvement in air freight growth in October. Compared to October 2012, global freight tonne kilometers (FTK) grew four per cent, with growth in all regions except Africa. The gradual expansion continues a trend that began in the third quarter as air freight markets have responded to better economic confidence and improved consumer demand.

Performance varies significantly by region, however. Middle East carriers reported the most impressive growth at 12.3 per cent. European and North American airlines reported growth of 4.4 and 3.7 per cent respectively which is below the long-term cargo growth trend of 5-6 per cent.

Asia-Pacific carriers grew by a marginal but significant two per cent, finally countering the decline over most of 2013, although capacity was up 4.1 per cent. Asian cargo volumes benefited from a resurgence in trade across the region, fueled by a stronger Chinese economy where manufacturing activity hit a seven-month high. Both export and import volumes rose strongly in emerging Asian markets, reversing a mid-year decline. This bodes well for further growth in air freight in the months to come, IATA said.

“Since mid-year we have seen modest but sustained growth in cargo fed by stronger business confidence and improving trade flows. Air cargo is still a very tough business. Matching capacity to demand has been difficult in an environment where passenger traffic is growing more robustly. There is some evidence that the fall in load factors has stabilised, but yields remain under pressure,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.