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February airfreight volumes unlikely to last

Qatar CathayGENEVA: IATA says airfreight volumes measured in freight tonne-kilometers (FTKs) rose 11.7 percent in February year-on-year but the rate is unlikely to last according to CEO Tony Tyler.

"A combination of factors made February the strongest month in a very long time for air freight. Nobody expects growth to continue at this pace. As we look forward, however, there is room for optimism. Business confidence improved slightly and trade continues to grow. The year is shaping up in line with a growth expectation of 4-5 percent," he added.

IATA said much of the monthly boost was due to the timing of the Lunar New Year that saw Asia-Pacific carriers increase FTKs by nearly 21 percent, and residual congestion at 29 US west coast ports that saw Japanese automotive exports shift from ocean to air.

On April 03 International Longshore & Warehouse Union delegates voted to recommend approval of a tentative labor agreement reached in February between the union and employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association. A final vote by 20,000 dockworkers in support of the proposed five-year contract is due on May 22.

Meanwhile, Middle East airlines maintained their inexorable growth with a 17.6 percent rise in FTKs compared to February 2014; North American carriers saw their traffic grow 8.7 percent year-on-year; while a 1.1 percent rise in European airlines' FTKs reflected a continuing dull economic climate throughout the EU and the subsequent effects of Russian sanctions.

Airlines in Latin American saw airfreight volumes fall 9.6 percent in February due to continued economic uncertainty in Argentina and Brazil while African airlines reported FTK growth of 8.3 percent said IATA.

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