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Air cargo stats suggest sustained recovery

Compared to June 2009, international scheduled freight traffic showed a 26.5 percent improvement.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
July 28, 2010

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced international scheduled traffic statistics for June, showing continued strong demand growth as the industry recovers from the impact of the global financial crisis. Compared to June 2009, international scheduled freight traffic showed a 26.5 percent improvement.

Capacity increased only slightly above demand improvements during the month, keeping load factors in line with historical highs of 53.8 percent for freight.

“The industry continues to recover faster than expected, but with sharp regional differences. Europe is recovering at half the speed of Asia,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Outside of Europe, all regions reported double-digit growth in air cargo.

“The question is how long can the industry maintain the double-digit momentum. Business confidence remains high and there is no indication that the recovery will stall any time soon. But, with government stimulus packages tailing off and restocking largely completed, we do expect some slowing over the months ahead,” said Bisignani.

International freight demand grew 26.5 percent in June 2010, down from the 34.0 percent recorded in May 2010. May was exceptionally high as some interrupted traffic from April’s ash crisis shifted to May. Volumes remain 6 percent above the pre-recession peak in early 2008.

Freight demand continues to follow economic recovery and trade patterns with airlines in Asia-Pacific (+29.8 percent), Middle East (+39.6 percent), Latin America (+44.9 percent) and Africa (+54.0 percent) growing the fastest. Carriers in North America (+24.2 percent) occupy the middle ground. Europe (15.3 percent) is growing at half the rate of the fastest growing regions based on
slower economic growth.

This trend is particularly evident in Europe which is the only region still 5-6 percent below the pre-recession peak. The low value of the Euro will be a
help to the region’s exporters and eventually drive up freight volumes.

“We remain cautiously optimistic. A clear indication of the growing confidence is the over 400 aircraft orders announced at the Farnborough Air Show. This is good news that will bring environmental benefits through improved fuel efficiency. But it will also make the challenge of matching capacity to demand much more difficult,” 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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