Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Asia-Pacific air freight demand contracts 6.3% in September

Asia-Pacific carriers, the largest players in air cargo, sustained the biggest damage from the continued contraction in air freight demand, seeing volume in September 2011 fall by 6.3 percent from September a year ago, traffic results from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show.

Total air freight volume for September 2011 contracted by 2.7 percent year-on-year, a further deterioration from the 2.4 percent decline recorded in August, the latest IATA traffic results released in October 31 show.

European carriers also recorded a contraction in demand of 2.4 percent, while North American carriers reported that September freight traffic was flat compared to the previous year.

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

Freight volumes have fallen significantly during the third quarter. By September, freight volumes were 5 percent below those carried at the end of the first quarter. This represents a deterioration in trade and economic conditions. Inventory-to-expected sales ratios have risen and shipments by air are being cut, IATA said.

In contrast, passenger traffic was 5.6 percent higher this September than in the same month last year, and stronger than the 4.6 percent year-on-year growth recorded in August.

Despite the stronger-than-expected growth in passenger markets during September, the industry is bracing for more difficult times ahead, IATA said. It forecasts profitability to decline from $6.9 billion in 2011 to $4.9 billion in 2012 for a margin of just 0.8 percent.

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