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Air cargo/global logistics: IATA reports “ash crisis” caused decline in cargo sector

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
May 28, 2010

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced international scheduled air traffic results for April 2010, noting that international scheduled cargo traffic saw the pace of its recovery slow to 25.2 percent growth.
“The ash crisis knocked back the global recovery - impacting carriers in all regions,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and CEO.
Although less dramatically hurt than passenger traffic, the global cargo sector took a significant hit.
The global purchasing managers’ index rose to its second highest level ever in April, indicating that the fundamentals of the air freight business were not affected by the crisis. We are, however, nearing the end of the inventory cycle and would expect freight growth to slow down over the rest of the year.
The scale of the ash crisis saw global load factors drop to 76.9 percent from the 78.0 percent recorded in March. Freight load factors also dipped to 55.3 percent from the 57.1 percent recorded in the previous month. While March traffic was within 1 percent of pre-crisis levels for both passenger and cargo, this slipped to 7 percent for passenger and 3 percent for cargo in April.
Looking ahead, Bisignani challenged Europe to reform its air traffic management.
“The ash crisis was an embarrassing wake-up call for European governments. We need leadership to deliver the Single European Sky, fair passenger rights legislation and continent-wide coordination,” said Bisignani.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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