On January 9, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released figures showing a 6.1% growth in demand (measured in freight tonne kilometres or FTK) for air freight in November 2013 over the same month in the previous year. November’s performance is an improvement on the 4.4% year-on-year demand expansion recorded in October and continues an improvement trend in what IATA describes as: “the weak air cargo markets” which developed during 2013.
IATA says all regions reported growth except for Latin America and Africa. The strongest performing region was the Middle East where carriers reported a 16.5% improvement. Significantly, Asia-Pacific carriers, who account for some 40% of the market, reported 4.9% growth, more than doubling the 1.8% growth of October.
It stated healthy demand coupled with a slower expansion in capacity helped to improve the average load factor to 49.2% which is 0.7 percentage points above the previous November.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO commented: “The November results are encouraging—particularly for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. This good news is largely being driven by improving economic prospects in China along with an overall boost on Asian trade routes. The uptick is a welcome development in a weak performing market. Overall volumes, when adjusted for seasonality, are still below the peaks reached in 2010 and 2011.”