Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Air freight stays in negative territory for 7th month—ACI

Global air freight traffic is continuing to be sidelined for the seventh consecutive month with an overall decline of 1.6 percent in November 2011 year-over-year, because of consumer and business confidence deteriorating in the major economies of Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America, according to the latest figures from the Airports Council International (ACI).

But ACI in a statement on January 9, 2012 observed “significant variation” across the regions.

“Many airports in the southern hemisphere are performing well in terms of freight growth whereas the northern airports of Asia and Europe are seeing year over year declines in air freight,” it added.

“The situation is particular grave for Europe, where the looming debt crisis has stifled commerce,” ACI said. Air freight for the region has declined by 3.9 percent. Among the major airports, declines were observed in Frankfurt (11.4 percent), Amsterdam (5.9 percent) and London (4.1 percent).

Asia-Pacific saw overall declines of 3.2 percent with major exporting regions of China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan facing even greater declines as compared to the region as a whole. Taipei, Incheon, Hong Kong and Shanghai declined by 10.6, 8.2, 6.6 and 4 percent, respectively.

Despite a volatile air freight traffic across the African continent, it has posted overall gains of over 27 percent, noted ACI. A significant contributor to the growth is the burgeoning economies of Southern Africa.

Double-digit gains were also observed at key Brazilian airports, which face strong domestic demand and ongoing expansion of their existing airport facilities. Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Manaus  saw gains of 597.5, 40.6, 39.4 and 9.4 percent, respectively.

The Middle East saw modest gains with overall growth reaching 2.7 percent.

North American airports have seen relatively flat growth compared to November 2010. While the major freight airports such Anchorage and Memphis have bounced back relative to previous months (25 and 7.3 percent, respectively), other major airports have experienced sharp declines. Newark, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta all experienced significant declines at 15.7, 9.7, 9.1 and 4.8 percent, respectively.

“Despite the overall slowdown in global air freight in Asia-Pacific and Europe, key trading blocks in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East seem to be less affected by the continuing economic risks in the Euro area,” ACI World’s economics director Rafael Echevarne commented.

“If the structural problems and the debt crises have been fully resolved, we are likely to see stronger footing in air freight traffic as business confidence is restored,” he said.


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