Industry News
Air cargo continues moderate recovery with Middle East taking the lead: IATA
2014-1-14 18:01:12


HE International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that growth in demand for air freight measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in November 2013 increased by 6.1 per cent over the same month in 2012, with Middle East carriers leading the way with a 16.5 per cent hike.

The performance in November was an improvement on the 4.4 per cent year-on-year demand expansion recorded in October, marking a continuing upward trend in the weak air cargo markets which has been developing over 2013. All regions reported growth except for Latin America and Africa, according to IATA.

Asia-Pacific carriers, who account for 40 per cent of the market, recorded growth of 4.9 per cent, more than doubling the 1.8 per cent increase in October. 

Healthy demand coupled with a slower expansion in capacity helped to improve the average load factor to 49.2 per cent which is 0.7 percentage points above the previous November.

IATA's director general and CEO, Tony Tyler, said: " The November results are encouraging, particularly, for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. This good news is largely being driven by improving economic prospects in China along with an overall boost on Asian trade routes.

"The uptick is a welcome development in a weak performing market. Overall volumes, when adjusted for seasonality, are still below the peaks reached in 2010 and 2011."

European airlines reported a demand expansion of 8.0 per cent in November compared to a year earlier. The steady improvement in recent months has come as Europe pulled away from economic contraction in 2013. The recovery in the Eurozone, however, is likely to remain slow and fragile and the growth in the region has proved to be uneven across countries.

North American carriers reported a 2.5 per cent year-on-year improvement in freight demand. This is down from a rise of 5.3 per cent in October but a definite improvement over the year-to-date performance, which is a contraction of 0.4 per cent compared to the first 11 months of 2012. 

Carriers in Latin America and Africa reported a slight year-on-year contraction. Latin American airlines experienced a slight year-on-year decline in freight demand of 0.1 per cent in November, following a 2.0 per cent increase in October. African carriers registered a contraction of 1.2 per cent for freight demand in November compared to a year ago. After a solid start to the year, growth in air freight carried by African airlines weakened from the middle of 2013.