Africa, world second fastest growing cargo market, says IATA
AFRICAN carriers are experiencing a fall in demand for cargo traffic by 1.1 percent and capacity rose by 6.9 per cent, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The body noted that despite the October result, Africa is still the second fastest growing air cargo market for the year-to-date, adding that demand is holding up despite the under-performance of Nigeria and South Africa.
Also, the release of its data for global airfreight markets has showed that air cargo volumes measured by freight ton kilometers rose just 0.5 per cent in October compared to a year ago.
Besides, IATA stated that year-over-year expansion fell back from September’s faster growth rate, and total cargo volumes in October stand 1.1 per cent lower than the peak of the uptrend at the end of 2014.
Furthermore, it pointed out that European carriers have driven recent improvements in air-cargo growth, but they ran out of steam in October with a rise of just 0.2 per cent.
Other regions, which also underlined the weak October trend, according to IATA, was the most significant decline in cargo activities experienced by North American carriers, who reported a 2.4 per cent fall in volumes.
Latin America (-8.1per cent) and Africa (-1.1per cent) are smaller markets and also declined, while Asia-Pacific was up, little more than Europe with a rise of 0.3 per cent. Growth in the Middle East, although a robust 8.3 per cent, was some 4.3 percentage points down on the average performance for the year to date.
The Director General, IATA, Tony Tyler said: “The outlook for air-cargo continues to be very difficult. While there was some optimism from third quarter growth it has all but disappeared as the industry basically flat-lined. Cargo capacity has grown largely in lock-step with the continued robust demand for passenger travel. As a result, freight load factors have sunk to the 44 per cent range, a level not seen since 2009. Early signs of improvement in export orders may go well for trade and air cargo but this is unlikely to prevent air cargo finishing 2015 on a low note”.
According to IATA, European carriers reported a rise in demand in October of just 0.2 per cent compared to a year ago and capacity rose 5.6 per cent. Although this is a weaker performance than in recent months, improvements in the Euro-zone are expected to continue, especially trade activity to/from Central and Eastern Europe, it stated.
North American airlines, it noted also experienced a decline of 2.4per cent year-on-year and capacity grew 6.0 per cent, which the body said there are mixed signals from this market, stressing that recent month-to-month results appeared to indicate a return to growth, but the latest manufacturing and export reports are poor
It maintained that Middle Eastern carriers saw demand expand by 8.3 per cent, and capacity rise 11.6 per cent, adding that the recent air-cargo growth in the region continues to trend well below the rates seen for the first half of the year.