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Global Air Freight Demand up 2.1% on Year

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced this week that global air freight demand in July rose 2.1% year-on-year in terms of freight tonne kilometres (FTKs).

Although there has been some slowdown in growth throughout the first half of 2018, freight capacity, which is measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), also rose in July by 3.8% on the year.

In this regard, the IATA reported that capacity growth had outstripped demand growth every month since March.

It was also found that the Middle East had the largest year-on-year increase in FTKs in July, at 5.4%, and showed the largest increase in capacity, at 6.3%.

European airlines posted a 2.6% increase in freight volumes, while capacity increased by 4.4%

The association also reports that there are however three indications for slower growth throughout the year. These are:

  • The inventory re-stocking cycle, which requires quick delivery, ended at the beginning of the year.
  • There has been a weakening in manufacturing export order books. Specifically, in Europe at the start of the year and in China and Japan in recent months.
  • Longer supply delivery times are being reported by manufacturers in Asia and Europe. Unfortunately, this means that they have less need for the speed afforded by air freight.

Alexandre de Juniac, the Director General and CEO of IATA, said:

“We still expect 4% growth over the course of the year, however the downside risk has increased.

“The tariff war and increasingly volatile trade talks between the world’s two largest trading nations – China and the US - are rippling across the global economy putting a drag on both business and investor sentiment. Trade wars only produce losers.”

That said, the IATA has also expressed a great deal of optimism as strong and growing demands in the world of e-commerce could counteract slowing growth rates over the coming months.

In a press release dating from August 20, the authority also stated that it was expecting a significant growth in aviation jobs after releasing a report.

Guy Brazeau, the IATA’s director of training and consulting said, “it’s an exciting time to be in this business.”

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