Air cargo demand rises 6.8pc

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Demand for air cargo in February was up 6.8 per cent on last year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

The growth in demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres was strongest in Africa (15.9 per cent) and Latin America (8.7 per cent). Europe saw the weakest growth at 5.7 per cent.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres, grew by 5.6 per cent year-on-year. Demand growth outstripped capacity growth for the 19th month in a row, which is positive for airline yields and the industry’s financial performance.

However, IATA warned that there are signs that the best of the upturn for air freight has passed. Demand drivers for air cargo are moving away from the highly supportive levels seen last year.

IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said: “Demand for air cargo continues to be strong, with 6.8 per cent growth in February. The positive outlook for the rest of 2018, however, faces some potentially strong headwinds, including escalation of protectionist measures into a full-blown trade war. Prosperity grows when borders are open to people and to trade, and we are all held back when they are not.”

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