IATA reports improvement in airfreight traffic in Jul-2013, outlook is 'cautiously positive'
IATA reported (02-Sep-2013) continued modest improvement in global airfreight traffic in Jul-2013. Global freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) increased 1.2% year-on-year, with growth in Europe and the Middle East offsetting weakness in Asia. Air freight volumes reached their highest level since mid-2011, while capacity increased 3.4%, pushing load factor down to 43.3%. Load factors stabilised compared to earlier in 2013. Asia Pacific cargo demand fell 1.4% and capacity increased 2.6%. Asia Pacific saw the largest regional decline in airfreight in the first seven months of 2013, with a contraction of 2.1%. In Europe, FTKs increased 1.5%, capacity increased 3.5% and airfreight demand increased for the second consecutive month. FTKs declined 1.1% in North America and increased 14.4% in the Middle East. Capacity in the Middle East increased 11.1%, with increased demand partly attributable to the timing of Ramadan. Cargo traffic in Latin America increased 3.1% and capacity increased 1.7%. African airfreight contracted 4.9% due to "intense" competition and despite "relatively supportive" demand. IATA has a "cautiously positive" outlook for airfreight markets, based on slight improvements in global business confidence and export orders. The association said positive developments in Europe and the US may generate demand for Asian manufactured goods in 2H2013. IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said, "The growth is encouraging, particularly in Europe. However, it is premature to say that air cargo may be emerging from the doldrums of the past 18 months. The weakness in Asia-Pacific freight markets and the deteriorating political situation in parts of the Middle East give ample reason for continued caution." [more - original PR]