IATA Reports Modest Air Freight Growth

December 5, 2018

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Global demand for air freight rose 3.1 percent in October, with e-commerce and the global investment cycle supporting the growth, IATA reported.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the increased freight tonne km demand for the month was an improvement from September’s 2.5 percent, which was a 29 month low.

Airlines continued to add freight capacity during the month, however, with a 5.4 percent increase in available freight tonne kms overall. The resulting 1.1 percent fall in freight load factor was the eighth straight month that capacity growth outstripped demand growth.

IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said there were grounds for cautious optimism, with slow but steady growth continuing despite trade tensions.

“The growth of e-commerce is more than making up for sluggishness in more traditional markets. And yields are strengthening in the traditionally busy fourth quarter. We must be conscious of the economic headwinds, but the industry looks set to bring the year to a close on a positive note,” de Juniac said.

Regionally, all markets saw demand growth in October except Africa which reported a 4.2 percent slide. North America had the strongest uplift in demand with 6.6 percent, closely followed by the Middle East on 5.0 percent. Asia Pacific and Europe saw more anaemic growth with 1.9 percent and 1.4 percent respectively.

With all regions adding capacity, especially the Middle East with 8.8 percent and North America’s 8.2 percent increase, all regions’ freight load factors dropped.