Air freight took off in November, according to IATA

By Freddie Pierce
Follow @Ella_Copeland Air freight enjoyed an upswing in demand during November 2012, according to new traffic results from IATA. Air travel overall was...

Air freight enjoyed an upswing in demand during November 2012, according to new traffic results from IATA. Air travel overall was a considerable 4.6 percent higher when compared to November 2012, according, up on the overall October result of 2.6 percent in October.

Freight volumes rose by 1.6 percent over the same period following a decline of 2.6 percent in October year to year, improving the load factor by one percentage point to 77.3 percent when compared to the same period a year ago.

According to a statement on IATA’s website, a portion of the increase reflects the impact of the Thai floods in November 2011, however, the association claims that the month-on-month increase of 2.4 percent is still a positive sign.

Airlines from Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern carriers showed the strongest growth, with Asia-Pacific grown responsible for almost half the rise in total volumes compared to October. European airlines fared less well, who experienced a flat rate of year-on-year traffic.

Detailed breakdown

·         Asia-Pacific airlines were responsible for almost half the rise in total volumes compared to October. The 2.4% rise in month-on-month volumes for the region was in contrast to a 1.5% decline compared to November 2011. Freight capacity fell 2.8% over the period.

·         North American carriers increased freight traffic by 1.7%, and cut capacity by 0.6%, compared to November 2011. 

·         European airlines’ year-on-year freight traffic was flat, and capacity grew just 0.3%. 

·         Middle East carriers’ freight showed the strongest year-on-year growth of any region, up 16% on just a 6.1% rise in capacity. Load factor surged to 46.7%, up 4 percentage points. 

·         Latin American airlines’ freight grew 4.2% year-on-year, but capacity grew at more than twice the rate, up 8.5%. 

·         African carriers grew freight volumes by 4.4% compared to November 2011. Although they kept the capacity increase to 3.6%, the load factor of 26.2% was still the weakest of all regions by a wide margin.

Despite these positive signs, IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler warned that it is ‘premature’ to consider this a turning point for air cargo markets to gain lost ground. However, Tyler added “when coupled with positive economic developments in the US and an improvement in business confidence in recent months, the conditions are aligning to see a return to growth in 2013. In 2013 we expect that cargo volumes will grow 1.4%, and passenger traffic will increase by 4.5% worldwide.”

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