IATA reports stabilisation of airfreight markets in Sep-2013, outlook 'tentatively positive'
IATA reported (30-Oct-2013) global airfreight markets stabilised in Sep-2013, but with significant regional variation including moderation of growth in the Middle East. Overall volumes reached a 25-month high and market size increased steadily since Apr-2013, supported by improvements in business conditions. The association's outlook for airfreight markets remains tentatively positive. Asia Pacific airlines continued to see weakness in airfreight demand in Sep-2013, however regional economic weakness appears to be easing and China's GDP growth picked up slightly. European carriers continued to benefit from improvement in the region's economy but load factor fell as capacity increased 2.6%. North American airlines face uncertainty in the US, with some improvement in business confidence but unknown impacts of the government shutdown. Underlying trends for the Middle East are strong and improving conditions in advanced economies are expected to boost trade through Gulf hubs. Latin American airlines continued to see growth in trade, airfreight volumes and load factors. African freight growth continued to tail off after a strong start to 2013 and increased capacity pushed load factors down. IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said, "The story behind September’s performance is regional. The leveling-off of global volumes was a result of the growth rate in Europe and the Middle East moderating after recent acceleration, while Asia-Pacific airlines saw a deepening of the market weakness. At a global level, the September results are aligned with our expectations for an improvement towards the end of the year. All indicators still point to strengthening business confidence as we approach the final quarter. That’s cause for cautious optimism. But the persistent cargo weakness when compared to the strength of passenger markets is a signal for the industry to work at improving its value proposition with programs such as e-freight." [more - original PR]