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African carriers record marginal growth in air freight services

By Wole Oyebade and Chika Goodluck-Ogazi
08 July 2016   |   1:06 am
IATA observed that African airlines’ capacity increased by 22.2 per cent year-on-year on the back of long-haul expansion continuing the trend seen since December 2015.
 International Air Transport Association

International Air Transport Association

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) yesterday released global air freight data for the month of May 2016, with African airlines recording 0.3 per cent growth compared to figures from the same period last year.

IATA observed that African airlines’ capacity increased by 22.2 per cent year-on-year on the back of long-haul expansion continuing the trend seen since December 2015.

Overall, global estimate demand measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) slowed in May with growth falling to 0.9 per cent year-on-year.

Yields remained pressured as freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs) increased by 4.9 per cent year-on-year.

Freight demand decreased or flat lined in May across all regions with the exception of Europe and the Middle East. These regions recorded growth in air cargo volumes of 4.5 per cent and 3.2 per cent, respectively, in May, compared to the same period last year.

Broad weakness in world trade volumes, which have largely tracked sideways since the end of 2014, accounts for about 80 per cent of air freight’s sluggish performance.

IATA’s Director General, Tony Tyler, observed that global trade had basically moved sideways since the end of 2014 taking air cargo with it.

He said: “Hopes for a stronger 2016 are fading as economic and political uncertainty increases. Air cargo is vital to the global economy. But the business environment is extremely difficult and there are few signs of any immediate relief.”

In the month under review, Asia-Pacific airlines reported a 0.7 per cent decrease in demand for air cargo in May compared to last year. Capacity expanded 3.7 per cent. Airlines in Asia-Pacific continue to face headwinds from weak trade in the region and globally.

North American carriers experienced a decline in demand in year-on-year performance of 0.2 per cent.