Air Freight Demand Growth Strongest Since 2010

May 3, 2017

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Global air freight demand jumped 14 percent in March, the fastest rate of growth since October 2010, IATA said in its monthly update.

All regions showed increases, except for Latin America, with Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific growth particularly strong. Africa posted the strongest percentage increase, 33.5 percent, but from a low base.

IATA said an increase in the shipment of silicon materials used in consumer electronics was responsible for part of the growth.

Europe was the strongest major market with an 18.2 percent increase in freight tonne km shipped during the month on a capacity increase of 6.7 percent. Middle Eastern carriers increased freight volumes by 16.3 percent and capacity by 2.7 percent, and Asia-Pacific airlines boosted volumes by 13.6 percent, with capacity up 4.8 percent.

North American carriers posted an increase in freight volumes of 9.5 percent on a more modest capacity increase of 2.8 percent.

Freight load factors were higher in all regions, again excepting Latin America. That region’s airlines reduced capacity by 1.9 percent but still reported a load factor drop of 0.8 percent.

Asia Pacific and Europe were the only two regions with load factors over 50 percent - 57 percent and 50.8 percent respectively. Africa’s load factor was the lowest on 28.9 percent, just beaten by Latin America on 31.9 percent.

“Optimism is returning to the industry as the business stabilises after many years in the doldrums. There is, however, still much lost ground to recover while facing the dual headwinds of rising fuel and labour costs,” IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement.