ALTA’s 2017 Latin American airfreight numbers still in red, despite October uptick

The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association’s (ALTA) October airfreight traffic to/from the region ticked up 2 percent year-over-year, but with year-to-date volumes still down by 0.7 percent, it remains to be seen if the year’s net will make it out of the red.

The largest share of that cargo – just under 50 percent – was to/from North America, where volumes were up 9.9 percent to 197,413 freight tonne kilometers (FTKs). European traffic slumped by 17.6 percent to 92,863 FTKs, representing a serious decline in volumes to/from association carriers’ second largest market.

The ALTA report only covers FTKs performed by passenger carriers in the aircraft belly, while excluding major carriers such as Tampa, LATAM Cargo and Aerosucre.  That explains why ALTA’s numbers are more than 5 percent below IATA’s 7.2 percent increase in traffic reported by airlines based in Latin America, with IATA saying, “recent improvement in demand conditions for the region’s carriers has come alongside a corresponding pick-up in the continent’s largest economy, Brazil.”

IATA noted that given the long-term depression of Latin America’s market, the current pace of growth is nearly nine times its five-year average.

There’s plenty of reason to believe that this uptick will turn into more of a concerted trend, with carriers reporting market improvements and positioning themselves for a resurgence. Air Canada Cargo, for example, announced last week that they had, “increased capacity to and from key destinations in Mexico and South America.”


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