Aviation: Africa’s freight demand up by 24.3%
International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose by 6.9 per cent in January 2017 compared to the year-earlier period.
While this was down from the 10 per cent annual growth recorded in December 2016, it still was well above the average annual growth rate of three per cent over the past five years.
African carriers’ saw freight demand increase by 24.3 per cent in January 2017 compared to the same month last year, helped by very strong growth on the trade lanes to and from Asia.
IATA stated that demand between the two continents jumped by 57 per cent in January on the back of rapid long-haul expansion and increased direct services, adding that the increase in demand has helped the region’s seasonally adjusted load factor to rise after falling by five percentage points in 2016 compared to the previous year.
Growth in freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), slowed to 3.5 per cent in January 2017.The continued positive momentum in freight growth into 2017, according to the body coincides with a steady rise in new export orders, which reached their highest level in February (latest data available) since March 2011.
IATA also said there has also been an increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air. The timing of the Lunar New Year (in January 2017) also may have contributed to higher demand in January. IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac, said it has been a good start of the year for air cargo.
“Demand growth accelerated in January, bolstered by strengthening export orders. And that outpaced the capacity growth which should be positive for yields. And, longer-term, the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will cut red tape at the borders for faster, cheaper and easier trade.
“The onus is now on the industry to seize the opportunity to accelerate the modernization of processes to make air cargo an even more compelling option for shippers,” de Juniac said.