Africa bucks the global airfreight growth trend

Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and CEO.

Global airfreight demand ticked up marginally in October to record year-on-year growth of 3.1% measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), according to the latest stats released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata). This after the 29-month low of 2.5% recorded in September. 

Freight capacity rose 5.4%, the eighth month in a row that capacity growth has outstripped demand. 

Growing international e-commerce and an upturn in the global investment cycle are supporting the growth. However, demand continues to be negatively impacted by a  contraction in export order books in all major exporting nations and weakened consumer confidence compared to very high levels at the beginning of 2018.

“Cargo is a tough business, but we can be cautiously optimistic as we approach the end of 2018. Slow but steady growth continues despite trade tensions. The growth of e-commerce is more than making up for sluggishness in more traditional markets and yields are strengthening in the traditionally busy fourth quarter. We must be conscious of the economic headwinds, but the industry looks set to bring the year to a close on a positive note,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and CEO.   

And while every region recorded growth in October - African carriers saw freight demand decrease by 4.2%, the seventh time in eight months that demand has shrunk


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