Monday, October 31, 2011

Global Air Freight Contracts Once Again

Fifth Month of Dropping Volumes
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – The latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show that global air freight posted a 2.7% contraction for September compared to September 2010. This is a further deterioration from the 2.4% decline recorded in August and means that air cargo demand has dropped for the fifth consecutive month.

According to Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, the reduced demand was due to falling business and consumer confidence and he warned that plans to increase aviation taxes would add to airlines problems and endanger any economic recovery.

“Airlines play a key role in connecting global business,” he said.

“At this time of economic uncertainty in many parts of the world, US plans to raise an additional $36 billion in aviation taxes over the next decade could not be more misguided. Increasing the cost of doing business by making air transport more expensive destroys competitiveness. Governments should protect the 33 million jobs and $3.5 trillion in economic activity supported by aviation with a sound policy framework—not by suffocating the industry with taxes,”

Freight volumes have fallen significantly during the third quarter. By September freight volumes were 5% below those carried at the end of the first quarter with Asia-Pacific carriers - the largest players in the air cargo industry - the hardest hit with a 6.3% decline in demand compared to September 2010. This is despite robust economic growth in many countries in the region.

European carriers also recorded a contraction in demand of 2.4% while North American carriers reported that September freight traffic was flat compared to the previous year.

(pic: Tony Tyler)