In October, Etihad Cargo bested its previous record for freight volume carried in any month, moving 53,785 tonnes of cargo and surpassing the previous record, achieved in November 2014, by 501 tonnes. The carrier cited “growth in perishables traffic from Africa, US inbound and outbound traffic, and volumes from Europe to Asia Pacific,” as drivers of the recent increases.
The news, while cause for cheer, hints at a regional downturn in a market that used to post double-digit year-on-year growth with such regularity that it hardly generated headlines. Etihad’s 53,785 tonne record is less than a 2-percent increase in volume in 23 months.
The current market reality is one of increased completion, not only from other regional carriers such as Qatar Cargo and Emirates, but also from the likes of Turkish Airlines and AirBridgeCargo that can reach can connect Asia and Europe while shaving off thousands of kilometers.