Signs of a clear, but fragile recovery in air cargo demand are being driven by companies restocking inventories which have run low, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday. But this pick up would remain Ã¢â‚¬Å“fragileÃ¢â‚¬Â as long as economic recovery is driven by the inventory cycle, and not by increased consumption and business investment, IATA warned. International air freight demand was 11.3 per cent lower in July than the same month in 2008, a considerably better result than the -16.5 per cent recorded in June and the -19.3 per cent average plunge recorded for the first seven months of the year. All regions, except Africa, saw improvement in demand compared to June with the Middle East the only region to grow. Falls by Asia Pacific carriers, European carriers and North American carriers were 9.5 per cent, 16.2 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively. African carriers posted the worst performance at -25.9 per cent. But despite this improvement load factors are still lower than levels seen at the same time last year and downward pressure on freight rates and revenues continued to intensify in July. IATA noted that the pick up in air cargo began from December, half a year ahead of the recovery in world trade which only began in June. This pattern was already registered in 2002, when the global economy regained its footing following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
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