Air Freight Demand Recovered Slightly In April

May 30, 2018

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Demand for international air freight recovered slightly in April after the sharp drop reported the previous month.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) in its monthly update said April’s air freight demand grew by 4.1 percent from the same period last year. That contrasted with the 1.8 percent reported for March, a 23 month low, as export orders fell.

IATA said the softer demand was largely due to the end of the restocking cycle as companies wind down their inventories.

“April saw a strengthening from the abrupt slowdown in growth experienced in March,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said. “We remain cautiously optimistic that demand will grow in the region of 4 percent this year. But the forecast appears to have increasing downside potential.”

de Juniac pointed to the rise in oil prices and protectionist rhetoric from politicians as reasons for the softening.

Regionally, Latin America saw the largest increase in April demand, with a healthy 10.6 percent boost. The Middle East came in close behind on 7.3 percent, with Africa returning a 5.6 percent uplift. North America on 3.2 percent and Europe with 2.4 percent were at the bottom of the demand growth pile.

Latin America reduced its available freight tonne km capacity by 4.6 percent leading to a 5.3 percent boost in load factor to 38.9 percent.

All other regions added capacity, with Africa putting on 23 percent, resulting in a drop in its freight load factor of 3.5 percent.