Africa’s airfreight volumes disappoint

Iata director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac. Source: Iata

Airfreight volumes are continuing their upward trajectory, although the 2% recorded in September is well below the five-year average of 5.1%, according to the latest statistics released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

“Weakening order books and longer delivery times are undercutting the need for air freight in many traditional markets,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.

“But there is also some positive news. For example, strong consumer confidence goes hand-in-hand with expanding international e-commerce trade to give air cargo a boost,” he said.

The bigger message, in his view, is the need to modernise processes. “There is some progress with the electronic air waybill becoming the default document on enabled trade lanes from 2019. But there is much more that must be done with governments and the supply chain to bring air cargo processes into the modern era."

African carriers on the other hand have continued their downward trajectory with volumes contracting by 2.1% in September, compared to the same month last year. This was the sixth time in seven months that demand had contracted. Demand conditions on all key markets to and from Africa remain weak, according to Iata.

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