Sunny outlook for airfreight in 2018

Alexandre de Juniac, Iata director general and CEO.

Demand for global air freight – measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) – climbed 8.8% in November 2017 compared to the previous year. This was up on the 5.8% annual growth recorded in October 2017.

Despite indicators pointing to air cargo having passed a cyclical growth peak, demand remains strong, according to data released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), rose by 4.0% year-on-year in November.

"Air freight demand remains robust. November showed 8.8% year-on-year growth, keeping up the momentum that will make 2017 the strongest year for air cargo since 2010. And there are several indicators that 2018 will be a good year as well. In particular, buoyant consumer confidence, the growth of international e-commerce, and the broad-based global economic upturn are cause for optimism as we head into the new year," said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata director general and CEO.   

While airlines in all regions reported an increase in total year-on-year demand in November, African carriers posted the largest year-on-year increase in demand of all regions in November, with freight volumes rising 17.5%. Capacity increased 24%.

Demand has been boosted by very strong growth in Africa-Asia trade which increased by more than 67% in the first ten months of the year.

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