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Air cargo bounces back – for some

GENEVA: IATA is forecasting a 4.1 percent increase in its members' air cargo traffic over the next five years - or at least for some of them.

Novosibirsk Cargolux"We are now back to levels of demand not seen since the 2010 post-recession bounce-back. But the industry is still in the hot seat and under pressure to improve its value offering," said IATA CEO Tony Tyler.

Speaking in Geneva, IATA global head of cargo Glyn Hughes noted the IATA airline/forwarder business model has not managed to reduce the current six-day, door-to-door delivery time since the 1980s. Echoing his predecessor Des Vertannes, he said "air cargo must transform itself into a lean, adaptive and innovative industry centered around increasingly sophisticated customer demands."

Given IATA includes DHL, FedEx and UPS airline cargo traffic in its statistics, Hughes' comment is more likely to apply to the future expectations of some combination airlines rather than the already "innovative" experience of the three Integrators.

Meanwhile, as IATA airlines reported an overall 5.4 percent increase in October traffic year-on-year, AF-KLM has announced another decline in its cargo business with a 3.6 percent drop in revenue tonne-kilometres in November. This is in marked contrast to Cargolux's 3.1 percent increase in traffic for the same month and a 10.5 percent growth in tonnage carried for the first 11 months of 2014.

A report by the Dutch Financieele Dagblad newspaper that cargo head Erik Varwijk is poised to be the latest senior executive to leave KLM because of "frustrations" with Air France's approach to airline management, suggests the loss of market confidence in Martinair's decreasing capacity and KLM's inability to manage the fallout appears to be a bonus for the Luxembourg carrier.

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