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Air Freight Posts Stronger September GrowthFriday, November 04, 2016 > 09:40:54
Asia-Pacific airlines saw freight volumes increase by 5.5% in September 2016 compared to the same period last year. Capacity in the region expanded 3.4%.The positive Asia-Pacific performance corresponds with signs of an increase in export orders in China and Japan over the last few months. Seasonally-adjusted freight results for Asia-Pacific carriers are now trending upwards.
European airlines experienced a 12.6% increase in freight volumes in September 2016. Capacity increased 6.4%. The strong European performance corresponds with an increase in reported new export orders in Germany over the last few months.
North American carriers saw freight volumes expand 4.5% in September 2016 year-on-year, as capacity increased 2.6%. International freight volumes grew by 6.2% – their fastest pace since the US seaports disruption boosted demand in February 2015. However, in seasonally-adjusted terms volumes are still just below the level seen in January 2015. The strength of the US dollar continues to keep the US export market under pressure.
Middle Eastern carriers saw demand growth slow for the third consecutive month to 1.2% year-on-year in September 2016 - the slowest pace since July 2009. Capacity increased by 6.2%. Seasonally-adjusted freight growth, which had been trending upwards until the past year or so year, has now halted. This turnaround in performance is partly due to weaker conditions in the Middle East-to-Asia and Middle East-to-North America markets.
Latin American airlines reported a decline in demand of 4.5% and a drop in capacity of 4.7% in September 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. The ‘within South America’ market has been the weakest performing market so far this year with volumes contracting 14% year-on-year in August, the most recent month for which route specific data are available. The comparative strength of the US economy has helped boost volumes between North and South America with US imports by air from Colombia and Brazil increasing by 5% and 13% year-on-year respectively.
African carriers saw freight demand increase by 12.7% in September 2016 compared to the same month last year – the fastest rate in nearly two years. Capacity surged year-on-year by 34% on the back of long-haul expansion in particular by Ethiopian Airlines and North African carriers.
IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 265 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.
Explanation of measurement terms:
FTK: freight tonne kilometers measures actual freight traffic
AFTK: available freight tonne kilometers measures available total freight capacity
FLF: freight load factor is % of AFTKs used
IATA statistics cover international and domestic scheduled air freight for IATA member and non-member airlines.
Total freight traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of FTK are: Asia-Pacific 38.9%, Europe 22.3%, North America 20.5%, Middle East 14.0%, Latin America 2.8%, Africa 1.5%.