IATA’s Global air cargo traffic results for July
show a continuation of the modest improvement trend experienced in
Global freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) were up 1.2% in July
year-on-year, slightly better than the 0.9% year-on-year increase
recorded in June, as growth in Europe and the Middle East offset
weakness in Asia.
As a result of the July performance, air freight
volumes are at their highest level since mid-2011. Capacity
increased 3.4% versus July 2012, pushing load factor down to
43.3%. However, load factors have stabilized compared to earlier
Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO,
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
Regional Air Cargo
Airlines in Europe, the Middle East
and Latin America contributed to the improved performance versus a
Asia Pacific carriers’ cargo demand fell 1.4%
compared to July 2012, while capacity climbed 2.6%. Asia Pacific
airlines have seen air freight contract 2.1% through the first
seven months of 2013, the largest decline among regions.
Business activity in China remains sluggish, with the Markit/HSBC
Purchasing Managers Indices for manufacturing and export orders
continuing to show softness. Moreover, the weakness extends beyond
China, with emerging Asia trade volumes shrinking almost 5% in the
first half of the year.
European carriers experienced a
1.5% increase in FTKs in July, while capacity climbed 3.5%. July
was the second consecutive month in which air freight demand
increased, giving rise to cautious optimism. Questions remain,
however, regarding the Eurozone’s ability to sustain growth.
Although the Eurozone’s 18 month recession ended in the second
quarter, performance among countries varies widely, with Portugal,
Germany and France leading the expansion and Italy, Spain and the
Netherlands showing contraction. Through the first eight months of
2013, FTKs rose 0.2% year-over-year.
airlines had another month of weak demand for air freight in July.
FTKs fell 1.1% compared to the year-ago period, contributing to a
1.7% contraction in the first seven months of 2013 versus last
year. Signals out of the US are mixed. July’s performance
represented a decline compared to June, but month-on-month growth
rates have been especially volatile and recent indicators suggest
rising business confidence, in line with an improving economy.
Middle East airlines led all regions with a 14.4% rise in FTKs
compared to July 2012. Capacity climbed 11.1%. Year-to-date demand
was up 11.7%. The Middle East was one of just two regions in which
airlines saw demand growth exceed capacity growth. Part of the
rise in year-on-year growth rates in July is owing to the timing
of Ramadan, which took place mostly in July 2013, while in 2012,
most of the holiday occurred in August. Ramadan typically gives a
boost to air freight demand for Middle Eastern carriers, as air
transport of perishable foods and gift parcels increases to/from
Latin American carriers’ cargo traffic was up
3.1% in July compared to a year ago, with capacity up just 1.7%.
This result was broadly in line with the region’s performance
during the first seven months of the year, when FTKs rose 3.4%.
Demand for certain Latin American exports has shown strong growth
momentum over recent months, providing a solid foundation for
expansion in air freight demand.
experienced a 4.9% contraction in July year-on-year. Despite a
relatively supportive demand environment, reflected in the
year-to-date FTK growth of 2.2%, airlines in the region continue
to face intense competition for their product.
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