Global air cargo demand rose 1.2 percent year-on-year in June, an improvement over the 0.9 percent year-on-year growth in May and 0.1 percent growth over the first half of the year, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
But IATA said it is too soon to get hopes up. “It’s too early to tell if June was a positive turning point after 18 months of stagnation,” said Tony Tyler, director general and CEO.
“Airfreight volumes are at their highest since mid-2011, but that good news needs to be tempered with a dose of reality,” he added. “The global economic environment remains weak, and the basis for the acceleration of air cargo growth in June appears to be fragile.”
Some of the biggest improvements occurred in developed economies, as the Eurozone showed some signs of stability despite remaining in recession.
From May to June, global freight volumes increased by 0.8 percent, with European airlines capturing a quarter of that improvement. These airlines also showed a 0.9 percent gain in demand compared to May, and a 2.6 percent increase in demand compared to June 2012.
In contrast, Asia-Pacific carriers had the weakest performance, reflecting the impact of the slowing Chinese economic expansion. Regional volumes contracted 1.8 percent in June from June 2012 and shrank 2.3 percent over the first six months of the year.
The U.S. economy slowed in the second quarter, according to IATA figures. North American airlines recorded year-on-year declines of 1.2 percent for June and a 1.6 percent fall over the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.
Middle Eastern airlines saw freight volumes growing by 12.7 percent in June year-on-year. Latin American airlines experienced a 7 percent growth, and African airlines saw demand rise 2.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the IATA’s Airline Business Confidence Index released earlier this month showed that nearly 58 percent of respondents expected freight volumes to increase over the next year. But 72.2 percent forecast no change in weak cargo yields despite the expected increase in demand over the same period.
Photo: Aero Icarus