Europe lags behind in freight

WHILE 2010 demand statistics for international scheduled air traffic displayed a robust 20.6 per cent increase in freight, IATA finds Europe’s growth by comparison to be weak.

Latin American carriers recorded the highest full-year growth rate of 29.1 per cent, followed by Middle East carriers (accounting for 11 per cent of the market) at 26.7 per cent. Asia Pacific airlines (with a 45 per cent market share) grew by 24 per cent, pursued by Africa at 23.8 per cent and North America at 21.8 per cent. Europe’s 10.8 per cent growth stood out as exceptionally weak, IATA said.

Europe and North America saw persistent interruptions in air traffic due to severe weather conditions. It is estimated that this knocked off one per cent of total traffic demand for the month.

Overall international demand growth outstripped capacity increases of 8.9 per cent for cargo. The freight load factor saw a 5.2 percentage point improvement to 53.8 per cent.

Compared to the pre-recession levels of early 2008 December air travel volumes were four per cent higher. Airfreight was one per cent higher than pre-recession levels; however volumes have fallen five per cent since the peak of the post-recession inventory re-stocking boom in early 2010.

Freight demand growth varied wildly over the year from a high of 35.2 per cent in May to a low of 5.8 per cent in November. Overall the industry is trending towards normal growth pattern in line with the historical growth rate of five to six per cent.

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