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Air freight markets weaken overall but Middle East strong

Release Date

24 May 2013

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released figures showing that air freight markets weakened in March and that the improvement in air cargo growth rates that began towards the end of 2012 has stalled.
Global Freight Tonne Kilometers (FTKs) were down 2.3 per cent in March compared to March 2012, with only the Middle East and Africa showing an expansion. Asia-Pacific carriers are the largest players in air freight (together they comprise 38.5 per cent of the market). With a 3.3 per cent fall compared to the previous year, this region showed the greatest weakness in terms of actual freight volumes. “Middle East airlines are continuing their remarkable start to 2013. The region has grown 12.4 per cent faster for the year to date compared with the same period last year. In March, capacity was up 9.1 per cent,” IATA said.
The US and Europe, however had larger percentage falls (5.2 per cent and 4.0 per cent respectively), but on a smaller market share. Global air freight volumes are now only 1.5 per cent above the October 2012 low point, down from the 3.5 per cent rise that had been reached in January.
After adjusting for seasonal factors, it is clear that the improving trend witnessed in the fourth quarter of 2012 has been reversed. The global load factor slipped marginally to 46.7 per cent, and capacity fell by 0.3 per cent.
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