Decline in volumes halted but air freight remains flat, reports IATA

Data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), relating to the performance of global air freight markets in August, identifies that freight markets stabilised after two months of decline.

Measured in Freight Tonne Kilometres (FTKs), air cargo volumes rose only 0.2% compared to the same month a year ago.  However, this is a modest improvement on July’s performance when freight demand contracted by 0.6 per cent year-on-year.

IATA also reports that the results varied widely by region.  Carriers in the Middle East reported the most significant growth (10.4 per cent) followed by African (2.3 per cent) and European airlines (0.7 per cent).

European carriers also reported a rise capacity of 3.9 per cent.  Recent improvements in manufacturing business activity seem to be finally feeding through to support air freight demand.

The most significant negative impact on the global performance was by Asia-Pacific based airlines (-1.0 per cent); and those in North America (-3.3 per cent) and Latin America (-7.3 per cent).  All regions reported capacity expansions ahead of growth in demand.

Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, commented: "After declines in June and July, signs of a stabilisation in air cargo are welcome.  But all is not well.  Total volumes are down 2% 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."