November 05, 2015: IATA reports very modest air cargo growth in September. Measured in Freight Tonne Kilometers, volumes rose 1.0 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
This is a slight improvement on the August performance when volumes were broadly stable. Overall, however, air cargo volumes remain 1.2 percent down from their 2014 year-end peak.
The results varied widely by region. Carriers in the Middle East reported the most significant growth (7.5 percent) followed by European (2.8 percent) and African airlines (2.5 percent). Asia-Pacific based airlines recorded negligible growth (0.3 percent), and markets in North America (-3.3 percent) and Latin America (-6.4 percent) recorded declines.
All regions reported capacity expansions ahead of growth in demand, taking the freight load factor down to the lowest level since 2009 (43.2 percent).
"Although slightly improved from August, the global trend is fragile, and the improvement is narrowly based. The 2.8 percent growth reported by European carriers reflects positive trends in trade with Central and Eastern European economies as well as a general improvement in manufacturing in the Eurozone. But the largest air cargo region, Asia-Pacific, was only just in positive territory, held down by weak regional trade," said Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO.
The weakness in air cargo markets largely tracks anemic growth in trade. The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was agreed with the intent of promoting economic growth and prosperity by liberalizing trade across participating economies.
"Trade is the path to prosperity. We have high hopes that the TPP will deliver its promised benefits to participating economies with air transport—cargo and passenger—playing its role as one of the catalysts for growth," said Tyler.