IATA: Air freight resumes modest growth trend

Global air freight markets in March showed a modest 1.6 per cent rise in volumes compared to a year ago, measured in FTK.

IATA International Air Transport Association March 2015 Tony Tyler

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets, showing a modest 1.6 per cent rise in volumes in March compared to a year ago, measured in FTK.

The industry’s March performance stands in sharp contrast to the exceptionally strong 12.2 per cent rise reported for February. February’s performance, however, was positively skewed by the combined impacts of the timing of the Lunar New Year and the labor dispute at US West Coast seaports.

Freight performance over the first quarter of the year indicates year-on-year growth of 5.3 per cent. This is in line with general global economic trends and slightly higher than the 4.5 per cent growth that was anticipated in IATA’s December outlook.

The regional growth picture remains highly mixed. Latin American and European carriers reported market contractions while Middle East carriers showed rapid growth.

Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “The air cargo industry is on a solid but unspectacular growth trend. And there is little evidence today that would point towards an acceleration as the year goes on.”

Asia-Pacific carriers reported FTK growth of 2.0 per cent in March compared to March 2014. This appearance of a sharp slowdown from the February rate of 20.5 per cent is a reflection of the impact of Lunar New Year and the US West Coast port strike. Capacity expanded 3.9 per cent.