Cargo volumes swing back in Q1

CARGO volumes saw a strong upturn at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 to a level 28 per cent higher than the low point seen in late 2008, according to figures released by IATA today. This is still three to four per cent below the early 2008 peak level, but there are new signs of yield increases on specific routes and regions, with Asian markets bouncing back the strongest.

In 2009, the wide-body fleet utilisation fell by seven per cent and the freighter fleet is down by 160 aircraft. The industry is expected to take delivery of 50 freighters in 2010 and the wide-body fleet overall looks to expand by four to five per cent.

“The recession has hit the industry hard. We have lost two to three years of growth. We are starting to see some encouraging signs with traffic volumes improving. Volumes don’t automatically translate to profits. The challenges are many, including low yields, volatile fuel prices and matching capacity to demand,” said IATA’s chief executive officer, Giovanni Bisignani.

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