Global Air Freight Demand Jumps 12 Pct in August

October 4, 2017

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Global demand for air freight showed a 12.1 percent gain in August, its fifth double-digit increase in six months.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its monthly update that demand is growing at “exceptional speed” when compared to the five-year average growth rate of 4.4 percent.

“Air cargo had another stellar performance in August,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said. “Demand for air cargo grew at a double-digit rate for the fourth month in a row - outperforming demand for passenger travel for the fourth consecutive month.”

All regions returned double digit growth except Latin America, with Africa demand jumping 29.4 percent, but from a low base. In the major markets, the Middle East topped the growth table with 14.1 percent in August, Europe was second on 11.8 percent, narrowly beating North America’s 11.7 percent increase. Asia Pacific, which has the largest share of the world cargo market, grew by 11.3 percent.

All regions increased cargo capacity in August, with Latin America adding the most, 9.3 percent in available freight tonne km terms, Asia Pacific added 5.7 percent more capacity, Europe 5.1 percent, and North America 3.7 percent.

The large increase in capacity in Latin American markets resulted in a 0.2 percentage point drop in freight load factor, but all other regions improved FLF. The global load factor rose 2.8 percentage points to 43.3 percent.

“Cargo capacity is now growing in response to real cargo demand rather than automatically as carriers responded to passenger demand. The pace of capacity growth, however, has slowed… Overall, that should be good news for much beleaguered cargo yields,” de Juniac said.