April 4 - After revealing that global air cargo traffic increased by 5.1 percent in February, compared to the same month last year, the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) said that the outlook for cargo remains fragile.

IATA said that the fact that the the Chinese New Year holidays fell in January this year, pushed some deliveries into February and distorted the figures. Unrest during the Arab Spring last year also made comparisons with February 2011 difficult, the industry association reported.

Cargo traffic in February was down 1.2 percent from January but demand remains relatively stable.

IATA director general, Tony Tyler said: "The outlook is fragile. Improvements in business confidence slowed in February. An uptick for cargo is not imminent."

Asia/Pacific carriers increased traffic 10.2 percent from a year ago, while Middle East carriers grew traffic 18.2 percent. Meanwhile, the increase in airfreight volumes for European and North American airlines was more modest at 1.4 percent and 0.3 percent respectively, while Latin American carriers suffered a 3.6 percent decline.