Home » Aviation, Breaking News » International air cargo volume drops 1.9% in May

Global airfreight traffic in May was tugged downward by deteriorating global economic conditions, latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show.

May freight demand fell 1.9 percent year-over-year and contracted by 0.4 percent compared to April, IATA said.

Since hitting a low during the fourth quarter of 2011, freight markets “have basically moved sideways,” the association said, improving by just 1.5 percent by May. But this growth has been mostly contributed by the Middle East carriers.

Freight load factor stood at 45.3 percent in May 2012, unchanged from the previous month but 1.2 percentage points below May 2011 levels.

“The airline industry is fragile. Relief in oil prices provides some good news. Unfortunately, the softness in oil markets comes on the back of fears of deterioration in the European economy,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

He added: “Business and consumer confidence are falling. And we are seeing the first signs of that in slowing demand and softer load factors. This does not bode well for industry profitability. Airlines are expected to return a $3 billion profit in 2012 on $631 billion in revenues. That’s a razor-thin 0.5% margin.”

European airlines experienced the steepest decline in May, dropping 5.7 percent compared to a year ago on a 1 percent rise in capacity.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw a 4.1 percent decline in demand, while capacity dipped just 1.7 percent.

North American airlines had a 1.9 percent drop in demand, while capacity was trimmed by 1.6 percent.

Latin American airlines’ demand rose 0.2 percent, while capacity climbed 0.5 percent.

Middle Eastern carriers posted a 12.4 percent increase in demand, which exceeded an 11.7 percent rise in capacity. Half of this year’s growth in cargo markets has been captured by the Middle East carriers, IATA said.


Photo: Maltesen

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