2009 worst year since WWII

FIGURES from the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) for December and full-year 2009 show the aviation industry ended 2009 with the largest ever decline since World War II.December’s freight demand showed a 24.4 per cent improvement on December 2008 with a load factor of 54.1 per cent. This improvement was exaggerated by the exceptionally weak performance in December 2008, which was the low point on the cycle. Freight demand is still nine per cent lower than the peak in early 2008. Optimism is returning to the industry as purchasing managers survey indicators reached a 44-month high in December pointing towards increased freight volumes in the coming months.Asia-Pacific carriers accounted for over 60 per cent of the increase in international airfreight markets over the past 12 months – outperforming their 45 per cent market share. Despite this improvement, Asia-Pacific carriers’ freight volumes remain eight per cent below peak levels.European carriers remain 20 per cent below 2008 peak levels reflecting the glacial pace of economic recovery in Europe compared to Asia-Pacific.Middle East carriers and Latin American carriers are smaller market participants, but ended the year better than peak levels by seven per cent and 21 per cent respectively.“The industry starts 2010 with some enormous challenges. The worst is behind us, but it is not time to celebrate. Adjusting to two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half years of lost growth means that airlines face another spartan year focused on matching capacity carefully to demand and controlling costs,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and chief executive officer.

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