Doubt over what October’s results mean

INTERNATIONAL cargo traffic rose 14.4 per cent in October compared with the same month last year. This was marginally weaker than the 15.5 per cent recorded in September.

Asia-Pacific airlines rose 14.9 per cent, down from the 16.2 per cent recorded in September. This takes the region’s annualised growth rate to an encouraging 22 per cent, thanks to its strong economic recovery, particularly in China and India.

European airlines rose 12.1 per cent and North American ones 12.2 per cent. For both regions, this was a six per cent improvement on freight volumes carried in December 2009.

Overall, October’s results stops the slight but steady decline seen since May, but it remains to be seen if this heralds a stabilisation and subsequent increase in freight volumes or whether it is a temporary blip.

Improvements in demand are being met by a cautious approach to capacity expansion. Over the first 10 months of the year, cargo capacity increased 9.2 per cent, below the demand increase of 24 per cent.

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