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Air freight posts modest growth in October, up 3.1 percent: IATA
Last Updated: 2018-12-06 10:52 | Xinhua
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Demand in air freight markets rose 3.1 percent in October 2018 compared to the same period the year before, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Wednesday.

Global freight capacity rose by 5.4 percent year-on-year in October 2018 for the eighth consecutive month that capacity growth outstripped demand.

"Cargo is a tough business, but we can be cautiously optimistic as we approach the end of 2018. Slow but steady growth continues despite trade tensions," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO.

He said the growth of e-commerce is more than making up for sluggishness in more traditional markets and that yields are strengthening in the traditionally busy fourth quarter.

"We must be conscious of the economic headwinds, but the industry looks set to bring the year to a close on a positive note," said de Juniac.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight, which is measured in freight tonne kilometers, grow by 1.9 percent in October 2018, compared to the same period last year.

This pace of growth was relatively unchanged from the previous month.

Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters and longer supplier delivery times particularly in China and Korea impacted the demand.

As the largest freight-flying region, carrying more than one-third of the total, the risks from rising trade tensions are disproportionately high, said IATA.

North American airlines showed the fastest growth of any region in October 2018, with an increase in demand of 6.6 percent from a year earlier.

The strength of the U.S. economy and consumer spending have helped support the demand for air cargo over the past year, benefiting American carriers.

European airlines experienced a 1.4 percent increase in freight demand in October, as weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters and longer supplier delivery times particularly in Germany, Europe's largest freight flying country, impacted demand, said IATA.

African carriers saw freight demand decrease by 4.2 percent in October 2018, compared to the same month in 2017 last year in the seventh time in eight months that demand shrank.

Demand conditions on all critical markets to and from Africa remain weak, said IATA.

Nonetheless, seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes have stopped declining and recovered sharply in recent months.

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