Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Air freight volume dips in Sept

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International cargo volume declined in September due to continued deterioration in global trade and economic conditions, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Air freight dropped 2.7% in September year-on-year, sharper compared to the 2.4% decline posted in August of 2011.

Passenger traffic, on the other hand, was 5.6% higher than the same month last year and stronger than the 4.6% growth in August.

“September’s strength in passenger demand was a pleasant surprise. Freight demand contracted for a fifth consecutive month and this trend is in line with falling business and consumer confidence,” IATA director general Tony Tyler said.

“Freight volumes have fallen significantly during the third quarter. By September, freight volumes were 5% below those carried at the end of the first quarter. This represents deterioration in trade and economic conditions,” Tyler added.

“Asia-Pacific carriers are the largest players in air cargo and have been the hardest hit with a 6.3% decline in demand compared to September 2010. This is despite robust economic growth in many countries in the region.”

International air travel volumes rebounded to levels reached in July, following a dip in August.

The sharp decline in business confidence in most economies, and the weakness in US and European consumer confidence, suggest reluctance for both business and leisure travel.

Passenger load factors stood at 79.5% in September, slightly below the 80.1% recorded for the same month last year. Highest load factors were recorded in North America (82.6%) and Europe (82.4%).

The load factor for Asia-Pacific airlines slipped to 76% as the region absorbs the largest number of new aircraft deliveries.

Despite stronger-than-expected growth in passenger markets in September, the industry is bracing for more difficult times ahead with profitability expectations seen declining over the next 12 months.

IATA sees profitability sliding from $6.9 billion in 2011 to $4.9 billion in 2012 for a margin of just 0.8%.

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