The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing a strong increase in air cargo in July. Compared to July 2013, freight ton kilometres (FTKs) rose 5.8 per cent. This is an acceleration in growth from June when cargo demand grew at less than half that rate (2.4 per cent).
The strong growth mirrors positive developments in some key regional economies. After a slowdown at the start of the year, global business confidence and trade are showing signs of improvement again, especially in Asia-Pacific. Global air cargo volumes have now surpassed their previous July peak, in 2010, and look set to continue to increase. European air freight, however, grew just 1.8 per cent. This reflects the effects of the Russia-Ukraine crisis (including the impact of mounting economic sanctions), which is adding to economic weakness in the Eurozone.
“Overall, July saw growth accelerate. That’s good news and it reflects the continued strengthening of business confidence at a global level. But the air cargo industry is moving at two speeds with a sharp divide in regional performance. European carriers reported anemic growth of just 1.8 per cent while all other regions reported solid gains of 5 per cent or more on the previous year. In particular, the 7.1 per cent growth reported by airlines in Asia-Pacific is encouraging as it demonstrates a recovery in trade and a positive response to China’s economic stimulus measures,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.