The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released demand growth results for global airfreight markets for February 2018, showing a 6.8 percent increase in demand measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) compared to the same peri
Demand growth outstripped capacity growth for the 19th month in a row, but, according to IATA, there are signs that the best of the upturn for the airfreight sector has passed.
Demand drivers for air cargo are moving away from the highly supportive levels seen last year. According to IATA, in recent months the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for manufacturing and export orders has softened in a number of key exporting nations including Germany, China and the USA.
"Demand for air cargo continues to be strong with 6.8 percent growth in February," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and ceo. "The positive outlook for the rest of 2018, however, faces some potentially strong headwinds, including escalation of protectionist measures into a full-blown trade war.
"Prosperity grows when borders are open to people and to trade, and we are all held back when they are not."
Geographical trends saw demand in freight volumes grow by 6.5 percent for Asia-Pacific airlines in February 2018, and capacity increase by 7.2 percent, compared to the same period in 2017.
North American airlines' freight volumes expanded 7.3 percent in February 2018 compared to the same period last year, while capacity increased by 4.1 percent. Meanwhile, European airlines posted a 5.7 percent increase in freight volumes.
Middle Eastern carriers' year-on-year freight volumes increased 7.4 percent in February 2018 and a capacity increase of 7.6 percent; Latin American airlines experienced growth in demand of 8.7 percent and a capacity increase of 6.9 percent.
In Africa, carriers saw freight demand increase by 15.9 percent - the largest increase of any region - and a capacity increase of 3.9 percent.