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IATA reports rise in air cargo demand


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The International Air Transport Association on Friday (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), rose 8.5 per cent in April compared to the year-earlier period. 
While this was down from the 13.4-per-cent year-on-year growth recorded in March, it is well above the average annual growth rate of 3.5 per cent over the past five years.
Growth in freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), slowed to 3.9 per cent in April.
Business confidence indicators remain consistently upbeat, suggesting that year-on-year FTK growth will remain robust for the rest of the second quarter, the IATA said. 
However, there are signs that the cyclical growth peak for air cargo has passed, particularly given that the inventory-to-sales ratio stopped falling at the end of last year. 
Air cargo often sees a boost in demand at the beginning of an economic upturn as companies look to restock inventories quickly, the IATA noted. 
“This tapers as inventories are adjusted to new demand levels. Over the whole year, air freight is headed for a healthy growth rate of 7.5 per cent, supported by strong pharmaceuticals and e-commerce.”
Director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said that the decreased demand in April did not reflect the overall rise in growth rates. 
“Growth rates are still much more robust than anything we have seen in the last six years,” he said. “That’s good news, but it should not be taken as a message that all is well in air cargo. 
“The industry’s antiquated processes need modernisation. With e-air waybill utilisation topping 50 per cent in April, progress is being made. And we must harness the momentum to drive transformational change across the way the industry operates.”

Published : June 02, 2017

By : The Nation