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Global airfreight markets show modest growth

Airfreight markets showed modest growth of 1.4 percent in April compared to April 2012, according to figures from the International Air Transport Association.

This small increase helped offset the 2.6-percent year over year decline in March.

This continues an 18-month trend of almost no growth in the cargo markets.

“We saw a brief rally in cargo markets at the end of 2012. But that has clearly stalled. Fortunately, the small improvement in April means that economic conditions have not deteriorated to the point of starting a market contraction. And if we look to emerging markets – particularly Latin America and the Middle East – we do see some encouraging signs of growth,” Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said.

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For Asia-Pacific carriers, overall business confidence softened in April, indicating a sluggish manufacturing sector. The outlook for Japan is more optimistic. Export growth drove Japanese business confidence to a 13-month high in April, but that hasn’t yet affected freight growth.

Though North American airlines saw airfreight volumes fall in April, it is an improvement on the fall in March, suggesting that markets have stabilized.

European business confidence levels trail those in both the U.S. and emerging markets.

Middle Eastern airlines saw the second highest airfreight growth of any region, and the opening of new routes to developing economies will drive growth in the future.

Latin American airlines experienced the highest growth in demand. This is the result of strong domestic demand as well as a sustained growth in perishable exports.

African airlines saw airfreight demand grow in line with the global standard, but during previous months African airlines’ airfreight demand has been stronger than the global market.