KUALA LUMPUR: Growth in global air freight markets continued to slow in May, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“Compared with May 2014, growth in freight tonne kilometers was 2.1%, the slowest rate this year and outpaced by a capacity expansion of 4.3%,” it said in a statement.

Asia-Pacific carriers reported demand growth of 2.8% in May compared with the same month last year, below a capacity expansion of 6.7%. In April, they had seen a demand growth of 4.5% versus a year earlier.

“At the end of the first quarter, trade volumes for emerging Asia markets were down 10% compared with the fourth quarter 2014, although there have been signs of improvement at the start of the second quarter, which if sustained, would help ease downward pressure on air freight demand,” the association said.

Carriers in most regions, with the exception of those based in the Middle East, saw weak growth or even contractions.

In aggregate, airlines in North and Latin America and Europe reported that their freight business was smaller in May 2015 than in the same month of 2014.

Carriers in Asia-Pacific experienced slow growth as a result of poor import/export performance, IATA said.

On a year-to-date basis, freight volumes are up 4% on the previous year, but much of that growth was realised in the latter part of 2014.

“Cargo growth has undoubtedly come off the boil,” said IATA director-general and chief executive officer Tony Tyler.

“The expansion in volumes we saw in 2014 has ground to a halt, and load factors are falling.

“Some economic fundamentals still point to a rebound in the second half, but we have to recognise that business confidence is flat and export orders in decline. There is also the risk of a shock to the economic system of a ‘Grexit’ from the eurozone,”

IATA represents some 260 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.

Source From: The Star

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