Global FTKs grew by 2.7% in January, but momentum flat: ICAO

Major freight markets continued to grow modestly, with Asia/Pacific growing by +1.3 per cent. Africa and Latin America/Caribbean contracted by - 1.4 per cent and - 3.6 per cent, respectively.


ICAO International Civil Aviation Organisation


According to the latest update from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) freight traffic – expressed in freight-tonne-kilometres (FTKs) – grew by +2.7 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in January 2016, +1.9 percentage points higher than the growth in December 2015. This is the highest growth observed since May 2015.

Major freight markets continued to grow modestly, with Asia/Pacific growing by +1.3 per cent. Africa and Latin America/Caribbean contracted by – 1.4 per cent and – 3.6 per cent, respectively.

The Middle East posted relatively stronger growth by +8.8 per cent, offsetting the weak performance in other regions. The overall air cargo capacity utilisation was poor in January, resulting in a low freight load factor (41.3 per cent). Freight traffic started to pick up slightly since the end of 2015, however, the growth remained subdued. With the current fragile global economy outlook, the overall momentum in the cargo markets remains flat.

World passenger traffic, on the other hand, grew by +7.1 per cent YoY in January 2016, +1.7 percentage points higher than previous month. Strong passenger traffic growth observed in 2015 carried on into 2016 with international traffic starting the year with an acceleration in growth.

Key domestic markets like India, China, and US continued to grow strongly, with India posting a significant increase of +22.9 per cent. The outlook for passenger traffic demand in 2016 is expected to remain strong supported by the fall in oil price.