Global air freight demand increased by 8.4% in February this year


New data for global air freight markets published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has shown that air freight demand increased by 8.4% in February this year, compared to the same period in 2016.

Measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), demand increased by 12%, almost four times better than the five-year average rate of 3.0%.

IATA director general and chief executive officer Alexandre de Juniac said: “February further added to the cautious optimism building in air cargo markets.

“Demand grew by 12% in February—about four times the five-year average rate. With demand growing faster than capacity, yields got a boost.

“While there are signs of stronger world trade, concerns over the current protectionist rhetoric are still very real."

“While there are signs of stronger world trade, concerns over the current protectionist rhetoric are still very real.”

In February 2017, cargo capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs) reduced by 0.4%.

The continued rise in freight demand this year is in line with the slight upward trend in world trade which corresponds with new global export orders remaining at high levels in March.

Alexandre de Juniac added: “Any optimistic look at the future sees growing demand for specialised value added services. Shippers are telling us that the key to turning the current uptick in the cargo industry’s fortunes into longer-term growth is modernising our antiquated processes.

“We must use the current momentum to push ahead with the elements of the e-cargo vision—including the e-air waybill which is nearing 50% market penetration.”

Except for Latin America, regions worldwide reported an increase in demand in February 2017.

The total freight traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of FTK are 37.5% (Asia-Pacific), 23.5% (Europe), 20.7% (North America), 13.9% (the Middle East), 2.8% (Latin America) and 1.6% (Africa).