Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Soaring export orders catapult air cargo demand in May

Asia’s carriers saw freight volumes expand by double-digit rates in May as new global export orders reach nearly a six-year high, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Global air freight demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers, grew 12.7% in May 2017 compared to the year-earlier period, up from the 8.7% annual growth recorded in April 2017 and more than three times higher than the five-year average growth rate of 3.8%, said IATA. Freight capacity grew by 5.2% year-on-year in May 2017.

The continued growth of air freight demand is consistent with an improvement in world trade. This, in turn, corresponds with new global export orders remaining close to a six-year high in May, said IATA.

But the organization also saw some signs that the cyclical growth period may have peaked, noting that global inventory-to-sales ratio has started rising.

“This indicates that the period when companies look to re-stock inventories quickly, which often gives air cargo a boost, has ended. Regardless of these developments, the outlook for air freight is optimistic with demand expected to grow at a robust rate of 8% during Q3 2017,” the association said.

“May was another good month for air cargo. Demand growth accelerated, bolstered by strong export orders. And that outpaced capacity growth which should be positive for yields,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

All regions, except for Latin America, reported year-on-year double-digit increases in demand in May 2017.

Asia-Pacific airlines’ freight volumes expanded 11.3% in May 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier and capacity increased by 6.2%. Demand growth has been strongest, between 13% and 15%, on international routes within Asia as well as between Asia and Europe. Seasonally adjusted volumes are now 3% above the volumes reached following the 2010 post-global financial crisis bounce-back.

North American carriers posted an increase in freight volumes of 13.9% in May 2017, and a capacity increase of 4.1%. Seasonally adjusted volumes rose again in May, after a jump in April, indicating signs of a lasting pickup. The strong U.S. dollar continues to boost the inbound freight market but is keeping the export market under pressure.

European airlines posted a 15.0% increase in freight volumes in May 2017 and a capacity increase of 5.7%. International freight volumes grew by 15.2% year-on-year in May with airlines benefiting from strong demand on the Europe-Asia market. The ongoing weakness of the Euro persists in boosting the performance of the European freight market which continues to benefit from strong export orders.

Middle Eastern carriers’ year-on-year freight volumes increased 10.2% in May 2017. Capacity increased 1.7%, and seasonally adjusted freight volumes maintained their upward trend.

Latin American airlines experienced a growth in demand of 6.7% in May 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Capacity increased by 7.1% over the same period.

African carriers’ posted the largest year-on-year increase in demand of all regions in May 2017 with freight volumes growing 27.6%. Capacity increased by 14.7% over the same time period.

Photo: lasta29

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