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Air freight market stabilised in April after reversing in March

Update Time£º2013-4-7    From: Internet

THE global air freight market recovered slightly in April showing a modest growth of 1.4 per cent compared to April 2012, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced.

The small increase helped offset the 2.6 per cent decline recorded in March compared to the same period last year. And it continues an 18-month trend of basically no growth in the cargo markets.

"We saw a brief rally in cargo markets at the end of 2012. But that has clearly stalled. Fortunately, the small improvement in April means that economic conditions have not deteriorated to the point of starting a market contraction. And if we look to emerging markets, particularly Latin America and the Middle East, we do see some encouraging signs of growth," said Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO.

Growth in emerging markets was strong enough to counterbalance weaknesses in the major aviation regions, but overall growth remains feeble.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw a 0.4 per cent fall in freight compared to April 2012. Although Chinese economic growth is still robust, overall business confidence softened in April, indicating a sluggish manufacturing sector. The outlook for Japan, by contrast, is more optimistic. Export growth drove Japanese business confidence to a 13-month high in April, but the impact has not affected freight growth.

North American airlines saw air freight volumes fall 0.1 per cent in April compared to the same period last year. Although this is a contraction, it is an improvement on the 6.5 per cent fall in March, suggesting that markets have stabilised.

European carriers saw a slight increase in air freight demand of 0.9 per cent. Regional business confidence levels trail those in both the US and emerging markets. Nevertheless, European air freight volumes are holding up better than other regions when compared to the previous year.

Middle East airlines saw their freight business expand at a healthy 8.6 per cent compared to April 2012, but Latin American airlines experienced the highest growth in demand with a 12.2 per cent expansion compared to the year-ago levels. African airlines saw air freight demand grow 1.4 per cent compared to April 2012, in line with the global result.

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