Global Air Freight Demand Growth Continues

December 1, 2017

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The global demand for air freight rose 5.9 percent in October but growth appears to have peaked, IATA said in its monthly market update.

The 5.9 percent increase, measured against the same period of 2016, was a slowdown from the 9.2 percent growth seen in October, but still above the last decade’s average annual growth rate of 3.2 percent.

All regions reported good growth, with Africa the standout on a 30.3 percent jump in freight tonne kms (FTK) carried. Latin America came second on the growth list with 7.2 percent and North America just shaded Europe with a 6.6 percent increase against 6.4 percent.

Capacity in available FTKs showed a more modest increase in all regions, with Africa again topping the table on 9.2 percent. Latin American carriers added 4.4 percent, Asia Pacific 3.9 percent and North America 3.8 percent.

Overall freight load factor rose 1 percentage point to 46.9 percent.

“Tightening supply conditions in the fourth quarter should see the air cargo industry deliver its strongest operational and financial performance since the post-global financial crisis rebound in 2010,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said.

Looking forward, IATA said freight volumes are still expected to grow in 2018, although at a slower pace than in 2017.