World air freight up 6.8% in February, but markets cooling: IATA

April 5, 2018

GENEVA - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released demand growth results for global air freight markets for February 2018 showing a 6.8% on-year increase in demand measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs). Adjusting for potential Lunar New Year distortions by combining growth in January 2018 and February 2018, demand increased by 7.7%, the strongest start to a year since 2015.

Demand growth outstripped capacity growth for the 19th month in a row, which is positive for airline yields and the industry's financial performance, IATA said. However, there were signs that the best of the upturn for air freight had passed.

“Demand drivers for air cargo are moving away from the highly supportive levels seen last year. 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 US,” said IATA.

“And the seasonally-adjusted demand for air cargo which rose at a double-digit annualized rate for much of 2017 is now trending at 3%.”

February figures show that Asia-Pacific holds 36.9% of the world air cargo market, followed by Europe with 24.2%, North America with 20.6% and the Middle East with 13.7%. (ATI).