Freight fails to match passenger surge

Global trends in air freight are less optimistic than for passengers, said Airports Council International in its April report. While passenger traffic surged by 3.4% in April and 6.2% for the year to date, worldwide air freight volumes grew by only 1% in the month and declined by 0.1% for the year to date.
A rise of only 1.3% was seen in Asia-Pacific, although in Europe it was a more robust at 5.4%.
At the same time, many of the world’s freight hubs contracted. Out of top 20 air freight hubs, 7 airports reported growth rates of 1% or less. With air freight highly concentrated and the top 20 air freight hubs occupying almost half of global volumes, the weak growth among the major airports pulls down the global growth figure, ACI pointed out.
Significant air freight volume losses were seen at Istanbul-Atatürk (-5.5% or -3,800 tonnes), Paris-Orly (-17.7% or -2,000 tonnes) and Izmir (-76.2% or -1,800 tonnes). In Asia-Pacific there were pronounced falls at Jakarta (-35.2% or -17,000 tonnes) and Kuala-Lumpur (KUL, -15.6% or -10,000 tonnes). In Latin America-Caribbean, the largest air freight volume declines were observed at Rio de Janeiro–Galeão (-44.3% or -3,900 tonnes) and Viracopos (-14.1% or -2,200 tonnes) in Brazil.
The Middle East as a whole saw robust air freight growth of 4.9% including a rise of 19.1% (+22,600 tonnes) at Doha and Dubai (+4.8% or +9,700 tonnes) but this was offset by declines at Sharjah (-19.9% or -3,200 tonnes) and Abu Dhabi (-10.8% or -7,900 tonnes). At the country level, estimates point to an increase in air freight traffic of 3.7% in the US, 3% in China and just 0.3% in Japan, while Germany and India remain promising with 4.6% and 4.5% growth respectively.

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