IATA: April sees fuel prices pick up and load factors decline

The latest Airlines Financial Monitor from IATA indicates that cargo load factors have dropped back to levels last seen at the start of 2017.
Across the air cargo industry, the freight load factor fell 0.5% in April compared to the same month of 2017.
Capacity (available freight tonne-km, AFTK) increased 5.1% year on year in April while demand as measured in revenue freight tonne-km (FTK) rose 4.1%.
The report added: “The upward trend in SA [seasonally adjusted] FTKs has fallen below that of AFTKs over the past eight months or so. In fact, April was just the second time in 21 months in which the annual pace of capacity growth has exceeded that of demand.”
IATA said that unless demand picks up in the coming months, annual FTK growth will slow towards mid-2018.
Fuel costs continue to be a concern for airlines, with oil prices having risen due to tighter supply as well as ongoing geopolitical tensions. The price of Brent crude oil stood at $76/bbl, almost 60% higher than a year ago, at the time the report was prepared.
IATA noted that oil prices are expected to dip below the $70/bbl mark by 2020, however.
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