The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global airfreight markets showing a strong increase in air cargo in July.
Compared to July 2013, freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) rose 5.8 per cent. This is an acceleration in growth from June when cargo demand grew at less than half that rate (2.4 per cent).
In particular, Asia-Pacific airlines showed their strongest rise in air cargo volumes since the start of 2013, increasing 7.1 per cent compared to a year ago. The fortunes of the region’s carriers are tied to the strength of major economies such as China, Japan and South Korea, which are expanding again after a slowdown at the start of the year, IATA said. Capacity grew 4 per cent.
The IATA said the strong growth mirrors positive developments in some key regional economies. After a slowdown at the start of the year, global business confidence and trade are showing signs of improvement again, especially in Asia-Pacific.
Global air cargo volumes have now surpassed their previous July peak, in 2010, and look set to continue to increase, IATA said.
European air freight, however, grew just 1.8 per cent. This reflects the effects of the Russia-Ukraine crisis (including the impact of mounting economic sanctions), which is adding to economic weakness in the Eurozone.
"Overall, July saw growth accelerate.That’s good news and it reflects the continued strengthening of business confidence at a global level,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO. “But the air cargo industry is moving at two speeds with a sharp divide in regional performance. European carriers reported anaemic growth of just 1.8 per cent while all other regions reported solid gains of 5 per cent or more on the previous year. In particular, the 7.1 per cent growth reported by airlines in Asia-Pacific is encouraging as it demonstrates a recovery in trade and a positive response to China’s economic stimulus measures."