IATA members carried 48m tonnes of cargo in 2013

The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled freight tonnes carried were: Federal Express (7.1 million), UPS Airlines (4.1 million), Emirates (2.1 million), Korean Air (1.4 million) and Cathay Pacific Airways (1.3 million).


IATA International Air Transport Association Tony Tyler WATS World Air Transport Statistics


Globally, the 240 International Air Transport Association (IATA) member airlines – representing 84 per cent of global air traffic – carried nearly 48 million tonnes of cargo in 2013 of the cargo with freight tonne kilometres up only 1.8 per cent compared to 2012, but never-the-less an important reversal of the 1.1 per cent contraction that 2012 saw over 2011.

The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled freight tonnes carried were: Federal Express (7.1 million), UPS Airlines (4.1 million), Emirates (2.1 million), Korean Air (1.4 million) and Cathay Pacific Airways (1.3 million). The figures are part of IATA’s 58th edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), a leading yearbook of the airline industry’s annual performance, that also highlighted the cost of shipping goods by air in real terms fell 7.1 per cent in 2013, year-on-year.

“Commercial aviation began 100 years ago with a single airplane, a single passenger and a single route. Last year, as recorded in the WATS, the industry carried more than three billion passengers and nearly 48 million tonnes of cargo on nearly 100,000 flights per day, while the real price of air travel fell by 7.4 per cent. Aviation’s annual contribution exceeds even these impressive figures. Its global economic impact is estimated at $2.4 trillion and it supports 3.4 per cent of global GDP. By value, over a third of goods traded internationally are delivered by air and some 58.1 million jobs are supported by aviation,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

System-wide, the airlines carried 3.129 billion passengers on scheduled services, an increase of 5.1 per cent over 2012, with airlines in the Asia-Pacific region carrying the largest number of passengers of any region. The top three city-pairs based on passengers carried on international routes were: Hong Kong-Taiwan (4.9 million, down 11.5 per cent), Dublin-London (3.6 million, up 6.9 per cent) and Jakarta-Singapore (3.4 million, up 8.6 per cent).

A key cost item for airlines the world over, fuel consumption cost IATA carriers nearly US$210 billion, or 31 per cent of airline operating costs, and represents about two per cent of all fossil fuels burned worldwide for all purposes, or about 12 per cent of the total amount of fossil fuels consumed by all transportation. The average price of jet fuel in 2013 decreased by 3.9 per cent compared to 2012 and between 2005 and 2013, fuel efficiency improved by 11 per cent.