Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions lead air freight growth

Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions lead air freight growth

Data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) identifies that global air freight markets grew by 4.2% in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) during November 2014, compared to the same period in the previous year.

The figures also reveal that capacity increased by 3.3% over the previous November, while air freight demand expanded by 0.8% compared to October 2014.

Carriers in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions recorded the most significant growth, at 5.9% and 12.9%, respectively.  Carriers in these regions captured the vast majority of the global increase (93%).

Asia-Pacific carriers accounted for 55% of the total year-on-year growth (with a market share of 39.7%), while airlines in the Middle East region contributed a further 38% of growth (with a market share of 13.3%).

IATA also notes that if growth continues it bodes well for air freight markets as air freight is closely linked to world trade (by value about a third of goods traded internationally are shipped by air).  Air cargo growth stagnated from 2011 as world trade volumes basically grew in tandem with domestic production.

The strong growth trend in cross-border trade which emerged over the second half of 2014 (while domestic industrial production remained stable) has had a positive impact on air cargo volumes.

"More goods are being traded internationally and that is fuelling the growth in air freight.  It was clear in November that most of that growth is being captured by carriers in the dynamic and relatively business-friendly Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler.

“This year we expect air freight markets to expand by 4.5%, outpacing projected growth in world trade (4.0%).  But that optimism is tempered by the many macro-economic and political risks that continue to impact trade flows.”