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SEATTLE: January 12, 2017. Dave Clark, senior vice president Operations for Amazon Prime Air, says the company has just added 210 acres to its future air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG).

The Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED) has already leased 900 acres to Amazon capable of handling 100 aircraft.

In January last year the company announced it would invest US$1.49 billion and create over 2,000 jobs at CVG.

AMAZON prime air B767FThe Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has agreed to provide Amazon up to US$40 million in tax incentives that will allow the company to keep a portion of its capex by meeting job and investment targets.

The news coincides with the latest international air cargo data from IATA that shows November traffic, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), climbed 8.8 percent year-on-year and increased from 5.8 percent the previous month.

By comparison, IATA members' freight capacity rose 4.0 percent compared to same period in 2016 - the 16th consecutive month in which demand has exceeded supply.

"Air freight demand will make 2017 the strongest year for air cargo since 2010 and there are several indicators that 2018 will be a good year as well," declared IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. "In particular, buoyant consumer confidence, the growth of international eCommerce and the broad-based global economic upturn are cause for optimism as we head into the New Year," he said.

North American airlines produced a 9.7 percent FTK increase during the month following a 7.7 percent rise in October - more than twice the five-year average pace of 4.3 percent.

IATA said the comparative strength of the U.S. economy, coupled with the recently agreed tax package, may provide a further traffic boost this year as the latest U.S. Census Bureau data shows airfreight imports grew 11.6 percent in the first ten months of 2017, while exports rose 6.7 percent.

According to IATA economist David Oxley, IATA expects FTK growth to be a "robust" 4.5 percent in 2018 - close to the industry's five-year average: "All told, while the drivers of freight demand suggest that a repeat of the particularly strong growth seen in 2017 is unlikely in 2018, industry-wide FTKs still look set for a solid year of growth."

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