Air freight volumes flat after recent declines

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 SEPT 30, 2015: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that in August freight markets stabilized after two months of decline. Measured in freight tonne kilometers, air cargo volumes rose 0.2 percent compared to the same month a year ago. This is a modest improvement on July performance when freight demand contracted by 0.6 percent year-over-years.

The results varied widely by region. Carriers in the Middle East reported the most significant growth (10.4 percent) followed by African (2.3 percent) and European airlines (0.7 percent). The most significant negative impact on the global performance was by Asia-Pacific based airlines (-1 percent); and those in North America (-3.3 percent) and Latin America (-7.3 percent). All regions reported capacity expansions ahead of growth in demand.

"After declines in June and July, signs of stabilization in air cargo are welcome. But all is not well. Total volumes are down 2 percent compared to the end of 2014. And some of the key reasons for the earlier weakness – for example, downgraded growth expectations in emerging Asia, and the rebalancing of the Chinese economy toward domestic consumption – are still there. Even though world trade volumes have slightly picked up, the industry will have to work hard to match the strong finish to 2014," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

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