Home » Aviation » 2008 freight business a mixed bag

THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) is seeing a mixed picture for the freight business this year.

IATA documents showed that international freight demand growth slowed to 3.5% in November last year, down from 3.6% in October.

Over the first 11 months of 2007 freight demand only grew 3.9%, well below the 4.8% recorded over the same period in 2006.

“It’s a mixed picture,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA director general and CEO. “The global economy ended 2007 on a surprisingly strong note. The November surge in passenger demand has been critical in combating high oil prices and helping airlines end 2007 with an industry profit of $5.6 billion,” he added.

“But against a backdrop of robust world trade, sluggish freight growth continued to be a disappointment,” Bisignani said.

“We ring in 2008 with a warning bell. Passenger demand growth is expected to fall to 5% and the expected increase in freight demand growth to 4.3% will only help us recover some of the ground lost against sea shipping,” he explained.

He said high oil prices and the impact of the credit crunch will see industry profitability slip to $5 billion in this year.

The challenge for 2008 will be efficiency everywhere, said Bisignani.

Passenger demand, on the other hand, rose 9.3% year-on-year in November—the fastest growth rate recorded in 18 months, higher than the 7.7% growth recorded in October and the 7.5% growth recorded over the first 11 months of 2007.

The average international passenger load factors were 75.4% in November, 1.1 percentage points higher than in November 2006.

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