Stronger air cargo growth this year
Air cargo, long stagnant after a big hit during the 2008-09 financial
crisis, should see stronger growth this year with demand picking up in
most regions, IATA sources said.
In a review covering the first quarter of 2014, it said positive
cyclical developments had brought an increase in freight demand,
especially for commodities such as semi-conductors which are mainly
shipped by air.
But it gave no specific figures. IATA sources said cargo heads from
its member airlines surveyed in January "remain broadly optimistic,
expecting traffic growth to increase and yields to remain stable."
Just last month, IATA Director General Tony Tyler said in Singapore
that the weak demand for air cargo - a key indicator of the health of
world trade - remained the biggest worry for international airlines.
But the review said an advance in freight operations was being driven
by growing business confidence in an overall economic recovery and
climbing consumer confidence, especially in Europe where it was at its
highest for three years.
Other drivers were a rebound in US consumer confidence and stable
consumer demand in China.
On the downside, IATA sources said that although jet fuel prices had
fallen slightly this year they still remained high, keeping cargo
business yields down on the levels they had reached by March last year.
Despite a pick-up in overall world trade in recent months, further
growth could be limited by a growing trend to on-shoring - the switching
of production to home base - and protectionist moves in some countries,