Air cargo market growth sluggish


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that airfreight volumes have increased just 0.8% in May compared to a year ago. Globally, air freight markets have shown little change throughout 2013, however, capacity has increased by 2.1%, causing load factors to fall to 44.9% – their lowest since the post-crisis recovery.
The decline in cargo markets could be the result of the slowing growth in developing economies such as China.
According to Airports Council International (ACI), “Air freight continues to maintain a sluggish pace with virtually no growth in the volume of traffic worldwide. International freight was flat for the month, while domestic freight traffic decreased by 1.1%.”
This low result follows the trend of the last 18 months, and hopes for a significant upturn in the near future appear unlikely.

The only region to see strong growth in air freight demand in May was the Middle East, with a 9.7% rise in air FTKs, compared to a year ago.
In May, Asia-Pacific saw FTKs down 0.5% in comparison to a year ago. Asia-Pacific airlines saw an increase in freight volumes throughout Q4 2012, but they have seen a reduction in Q1 this year.
IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler said: “It is getting harder to find optimistic signs for air cargo growth.
“The Middle East remains a bright spot, and the rate of decline in the Eurozone is easing, but this is offset by the weakening of expansion in Asia-Pacific.

“It is now clear that the positive global upswing in air cargo at the end of 2012 was an illusion.
“Air cargo, along with many parts of the world economy, appears to be in suspended animation at the moment. In analysing the world’s top 20 airports with respect to freight traffic, as much as 60% of these airports faced year-over-year declines in air freight traffic.

Jakarta and Dubai are the only hubs among the world’s top airports to experience significant gains of 18.3% and 11.9% respectively,” it added.
Commenting on the trend in freight traffic, ACI World’s Economics Director, Rafael Echevarne, said that emerging markets are faced with weaker demand from North America and Europe.
“As a result, we are witnessing slowing growth or declines at major air freight exporters across Asia-Pacific. With a strong recovery in the Eurozone doubtful in the short run, the sluggishness in the air freight market will persist,” he added.
International freight handled at Asia Pacfiic airports was down 1.1% in May and fell 2.2% in the first five months of the year.

It was a similar picture at European airports where throughput declined 2% and 1.1% repectively in May and January-May 2013.
However, it was a contrasting picture at North American airports which posted growth of 1.9% in May and of 1.6% for the year to date.

Filed in: Air

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