African Airlines Post Fastest Growth in Air Cargo

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IATA

Chinedu Eze

Data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has shown that African airlines recorded the fastest growth in the cargo market in November 2019.

The data for global airfreight markets also showed that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), decreased by 1.1 per cent in that month of November 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. The world body noted that this marked the 13th consecutive month of year-on-year decline in freight volumes.

“Despite the decline in demand, November’s performance was the best in eight months, with the slowest year-on-year rate of contraction recorded since March 2019. In part, November’s outcome reflects the growing importance of large e-commerce events such as Singles Day in Asia and Black Friday,” IATA said.

While international e-commerce continues to grow, overall air cargo demand continues to face headwinds from the effects of the trade war between the US and China, the deterioration in world trade, and a broad-based slowing in global economic growth, IATA said.

“Demand for air cargo in November was down 1.1 per cent compared to the previous year. That’s better than the 3.5 per ent decline posted in October. But it is a big disappointment considering that the fourth quarter is usually air cargo’s peak season.

“Looking forward, signs of a thawing in US-China trade tensions are good news. But trading conditions at present remain very challenging,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 2.9 per cent year-on-year in November 2019. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for 19 consecutive months.

Strong trade and investment links with Asia contributed to the positive performance. Capacity grew 13.7 per cent year-on-year.