March 4 - The International Air Cargo Association (IATA) claims that air freight statistics for January 2013 show a stabilisation of air freight markets.
IATA noted that overall traffic measured in FTK (freight tonne per kilometre) during January 2013 improved five percent year-on-year. However, IATA cautioned that the rise was from an exceptionally low base caused by the timing of Chinese New Year.
The Chinese New Year fell in February during 2013, as opposed to January in 2012. This will skew year-on-year comparisons as many Asian countries down tools for a number of days and output significantly drops during the annual celebration.
Tony Tyler, IATA director general, was subdued with his outlook: "The air freight business is showing some encouraging signs. But it's too early to be overly optimistic. While the decline has stopped, overall volumes are still below the levels of 2010 and 2011."
Tyler added that IATA forecasts "modest" demand growth of 1.4 percent for 2013 but with weak load factors yields will be under sever downward pressure.