Home » Aviation, Breaking News » IATA: World air cargo demand still weak but tracking growth

International air freight demand went down 4.2 percent in April this year compared to the same period last year, according to the latest traffic figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

But IATA clarified that while weak, air freight markets are now showing some signs of expansion after bottoming out toward the end of 2011.

It said the 4.2 percent contraction in air freight markets this April compared to April 2011 is “somewhat misleading.” Air freight markets slumped sharply in the first half of 2011,  bottomed out at year-end, then showed month-to-month volatility in early 2012.

However, IATA said that April 2012 cargo levels stood at about 2 percent higher than in November 2011, with about 80 percent of this improvement captured by Middle Eastern airlines with a 14.5 percent increase in demand.

“There are signs that cargo has bottomed out. Amid the many distortions that have marked the first four months of the year, it is possible to identify the start of a growth trend in cargo for some parts of the world. But economic uncertainty in Europe makes it very difficult to be optimistic in the near to medium term,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

Air freight for the Asia-Pacific, European, and North American carriers has continued to show weakness, IATA said.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw a 7.3 percent decline in demand in April, well ahead of capacity cuts of 4.1 percent, to reflect weakening exports from China.

European airlines saw a 4.9 percent fall in cargo traffic compared to the year before, despite having cut capacity by 0.2 percent.

North American carriers showed a 6.4 percent drop in demand with a 2.9 percent cut in capacity.

Latin American carriers recorded a 3.6 percent fall in demand even though capacity expanded by 8.8 percent compared to April 2011.

African carriers showed a 6.1 percent increase in demand, behind a 9 percent increase in capacity.

 

Photo: Deanster1983

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