IATA reports sluggish start to 2015

Global-NetworkThose looking for confirmation that the early 2015 airfreight boom was an anomaly may now have their proof in the April data released today by IATA. While April 2015 showed a 3.3 percent increase in global cargo volumes over April 2014, there has been no actual growth in global cargo volumes since late last year, according to IATA’s monthly report.

Carriers from the Asia-Pacific and Middle East carriers reported growth in April 2015, but North American carriers fell flat. Europe, Latin America and Africa all reported declines when compared to 2014. The data revealed that there has been an overall slowdown in the first quarter of 2015, which averaged 5.3 percent, reflecting the overall weakening in world trade growth. IATA said it does not see an uptick in freight demand in the near future as business confidence and exports are flat or declining.

IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said it’s time to “kick-start trade by reversing protectionist trade measures” and implementing the Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement, which was designed to make trade easier for developing countries in the developed world by lowering import tariffs and agricultural subsidies.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw growth of 4.5 percent in April, year over year, compared to April 2014. Current trade volumes for emerging Asian markets were down 10 percent during that period, troubled by a slowing of exports to Europe.

European carriers saw demand decrease by 0.3 percent, year over year,  while capacity grew by 5 percent. North American airlines experienced 0.1 percent growth, with capacity cut by 1.6 percent. Meanwhile, the Middle East carriers grew 14.1 percent, with the boost from increased trade within the region and network and capacity expansion. Capacity grew by 18.5 percent.

Latin America continues to struggle. Its carriers reported a fall of 6.8 percent in demand, while capacity grew by 7 percent. Year-over-year figures, however, indicate that recent declines might be coming to an end. The light at the end of the tunnel may come with increased regional trade, IATA said. Africa saw a 0.2 percent decline in demand and a 2.2 percent decrease in capacity. Under-performance in Nigeria and South Africa are still affecting African trade.

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