Demand for air cargo remains weak in Africa in June

Demand for air cargo remains weak in Africa in June

Aug 04, 2016: African carrier’s recorded 0.4 percent freight growth in June 2016 compared to the same period last year, reports International Air Transport Association (IATA).

African and Latin American carriers are seeing the weakest demand conditions at present (although it must be noted that they fly only a small proportion - less than 5 percent - of international FTKs between them).

African airlines’ capacity surged by 19.9 percent year-on-year on the back of long-haul expansion, continuing the trend seen since December 2015.

Having declined in annual terms for the previous eight months, international FTKs flown by African airlines edged up by 0.5 percent year-on-year in June 2016. However, as has been the trend since December 2015, international freight capacity growth has continued to outstrip that of demand, driven by rapid long-haul expansion (particularly by Ethiopian Airlines).

The combination of rising capacity and only modest demand growth pushed the African international freight load factor down to 26.5 percent in June, more than five percentage points lower than in June 2015 and by far the lowest of all regions.

Chart6

Global air freight demand in June 2016 depicts rise in freight tonne kilometers (FTK) of 4.3 percent year-on-year. This was the fastest pace of growth in 14 months.

Freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs) increased by 4.9 percent year-on-year, keeping yields under downward pressure.

"June saw an improvement in demand for air freight. That’s good news. However, we cannot read too much into one month’s performance. Air cargo markets have been in the doldrums for several years during which there were several false starts on indications for improvement. We will continue watching developments closely, keeping in mind that the air freight business environment is fragile,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

“Global economic growth remains sluggish, world trade volumes continue to trend downwards and the industry faces heightened uncertainty in the aftermath of the Brexit vote."

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