Friday, August 31, 2012

IATA's Global Cargo Carriers Report Declining Air Freight Market

Hactl However Gains Another Client Whilst Cargolux Resumes Normal Service to Ecuador
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – In air freight news this week IATA released global traffic results for air freight in July, which showed demand fall due to the lack of trade growth, whilst Hactl and Air Astana revealed their new partnership and freight only operator Cargolux announced that it has resumed twice weekly flights serving Latacunga, Ecuador (instead of Quito) with immediate effect following the completion of renovations at Latacunga’s airport.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) global traffic results for July showed air freight demand contract 3.2% overall compared to July 2011. This is down on the 0.1% year-on-year growth rate of June with a relatively large part of the decline due to a comparison with a strong July last year, however it must be admitted that overall the trend in air freight is weak, in line with subdued world trade growth.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw a 7.6% decline in demand in July compared to the previous year, the steepest decline for any region, while capacity dipped just 4.3%. Asia-Pacific carriers have experienced virtually no growth in freight traffic since the fourth quarter of 2011. European airlines had a 3.6% decline in traffic, with a 0.9% rise in capacity airlines in the region having seen only a 1% rise in demand since the 2011 fourth quarter.

North American airlines witnessed a 3.6% drop in demand, matching a similar reduction in capacity and load factor was the lowest for any region at 32.3%. Middle Eastern carriers’ 16% rise in traffic meanwhile came on an 11% boost in capacity, helping raise load factors 2% points to 45.3%. Latin American airlines’ demand fell 5.6%, while capacity climbed 13.9%, resulting in a load factor of 35.2%.

Independent freight air carrier Cargolux started flights to Cotopaxi International Airport in December 2000 and operated into Latacunga until the beginning of an extensive revamp in June 2009 that has led to a significant improvement in operating conditions. After a complete refurbishment of the terminal and the cargo premises, Latacunga now hosts the longest runway in Ecuador, enabling take-offs with full payload. The airport is also not affected by night time curfew, which gives Cargolux greater flexibility with its operations.

The new cargo reception facilities are fitted with state-of-the-art safety and security equipment and offer cool rooms with space for several wide-body freighters. The excellent roads that connect the flower producers in the region with the airport should make cargo operations on the ground faster, safer and easier for all players involved.

The national airline of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Air Astana, has appointed Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) as the cargo ground handler for its newly-launched flights to Hong Kong. The airline launched the first and only non-stop scheduled flight services to Central Asia from Hong Kong on 28th August, serving Hong Kong and Almaty, Kazakhstan, initially operating twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday using a B757 aircraft. Hactl will provide Air Astana with physical cargo handling and air cargo documentation services. Air Astana’s Oliver Mathwich, Director Ground Services said:

“We are excited about the potential for our new cargo capacity to and from Hong Kong, and are delighted to have access to Hactl’s impressive resources and the interline opportunities opened up by its large selection of handled carriers.”

Lilian Chan, Executive Director of Hactl said that the company extends a warm welcome to Air Astana, which is the latest carrier to join the firms growing portfolio. In an increasingly competitive business environment, this appointment once again endorses Hactl’s reputation for service excellence, achieved so says the company after many years’ hard work.