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ME air freight sees 8.6pc growth in April

Cape Town, May 29, 2013

Middle East airlines saw their freight business expand at a healthy 8.6 per cent in April compared to the same month in 2012, according to figures released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

While this is a slowdown from the year-to-date growth rate of 11.2 per cent, it was still the second highest of any region and the opening of new routes to developing economies will drive growth for the foreseeable future, the Iata report said.

Globally, air freight markets in April showed modest growth of 1.4 per cent compared to April 2012. This small increase helped to offset the 2.6 per cent decline recorded in March compared to the year-ago period. And it continues an 18-month trend of basically no growth in the cargo markets, Iata said.

“We saw a brief rally in cargo markets at the end of 2012. But that has clearly stalled,” explained Tony Tyler, Iata’s director general and CEO.

“Fortunately, the small improvement in April means that economic conditions have not deteriorated to the point of starting a market contraction. And if we look to emerging markets--particularly Latin America and the Middle East—we do see some encouraging signs of growth.”

African airlines saw air freight demand grow by 1.4 per cent compared to April 2012, in line with the global result. During previous months, however, African airlines’ air freight demand has performed more strongly than the global market, reflecting robust expansion in regional trade volumes compared to the world trend.

Latin American airlines experienced the highest growth in demand with a 12.2 per cent expansion compared to the year-ago levels. This is more than three times the year-to-date growth, and is the result of strong domestic demand as well as a sustained growth in exports of perishable goods.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw a 0.4 per cent fall in freight compared to April 2012. Although Chinese economic growth is still robust, overall business confidence softened in April, indicating a sluggish manufacturing sector. The outlook for Japan, by contrast, is more optimistic, the Iata report said.

North American airlines saw air freight volumes fall 0.1 per cent in April compared to the previous year, while European carriers saw an increase in air freight demand of just 0.9 per cent.

Regional business confidence levels trail those in both the US and emerging markets. Nevertheless, European air freight volumes are holding up better than other regions when compared to the previous year. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Iata | air freight | latin america | April |

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