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Slight uptick in Airfreight volumes in August

Slight uptick in Airfreight volumes in August 

In a glimmer of hope for the beleaguered air cargo industry, global demand for air freight increased 1.5 per cent in August 2023, marking the first positive change in 19 months since February 2022, according to the latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

This growth was paralleled by a 12.2 per cent rise in cargo capacity worldwide, largely driven by airlines adapting to the high summer travel season by utilising passenger planes for cargo transportation.

Despite these positive developments, the industry still faces hurdles such as sluggish manufacturing, declining cross-border trade, moves by many manufacturers to ship by ocean freight and varying inflation rates that continue to challenge a full recovery.

Regional performance varied, with the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions improving, while Africa encountered difficulties.

IATA director general Willie Walsh emphasised the need for caution despite these positive trends. However, with the upcoming busy year-end season on the horizon, there is reason for cautious optimism.

In August, Asia-Pacific airlines transported 4.9 per cent more air cargo than the previous year, an improvement from the 2.3 percent growth in July.

Additionally, they benefited from a substantial 28.5 percent increase in cargo capacity.

In North America, air cargo volumes declined 1.2 percent in August, an improvement over the 5.4 percent drop experienced in July.

Available cargo space also increased 2.7 percent.

European airlines witnessed a slight dip of 0.2 percent in cargo volumes but saw a 3.6 percent expansion in cargo capacity.

Airlines in the Middle East experienced a 1.4 percent growth in air cargo, a departure from the drop of 0.1 percent recorded in July, with cargo capacity in planes increasing 15.7 percent.

Latin American carriers achieved a significant 6.2 percent growth in cargo compared to August 2022, with cargo space expanding 13.7 percent however, African airlines faced a 4.7 percent reduction in cargo compared to August 2022, despite a 3.8 per cent increase in cargo capacity.

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