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GENEVA: November 01, 2017. IATA reports a 9.2 percent increase in flown freight in September 2017 compared to the same month last year as capacity rose 3.9 percent – good news for airline yields and load factors, not so much for shippers looking for space.

Ethiopian ZanzibarDespite acknowledging the industry has passed a cyclical growth peak, IATA noted the year-to-date increase of 10.1 percent is a lot more than its original forecast of 7.5 percent for 2017.

Airlines in Africa topped the international freight tonne-kilometer (FTK) chart again with an annual increase of 18.1 percent followed by North American airlines with 11.0 percent year-on-year, European airlines at plus-10.6 percent, and airlines in Asia Pacific with an increase of 10.1 percent.

Middle Eastern airlines' FTK growth slowed to 9.0 percent year-on-year from 14.2 percent in August and reflects a short-lived weak period a year ago rather than a trend change said IATA, as annualized growth has averaged 8.0 percent over the past six months.

Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO said that while demand "remains stronger than anything we have seen in recent memory", the fact that it may have peaked means it is "even more important to reinforce the industry's competitiveness by accelerating the modernization of its many antiquated processes."

According to IATA economist David Oxley, the pick-up in global trade will provide an impetus for continued airfreight demand in 2018 although it will be "somewhat slower than the robust growth seen this year."

Pictured: Ethiopian has begun flying a B787-9 aircraft daily to Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro and will begin direct service from Addis Ababa three times a week next month.

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