Global air freight demand in April was up 8.5 per cent on a year ago, according to the International Air Transport Association.
The growth in demand, which is measured in freight tonne kilometres, was down from the 13.4 per cent year-on-year growth recorded in March 2017.
However, IATA said it was still well above the average annual growth rate of 3.5 per cent over the past five years.
Growth in freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), slowed to 3.9 per cent in April 2017.
“Demand eased in April. Growth rates, however, are still much more robust than anything we have seen in the last six years. That’s good news, but it should not be taken as a message that all is well in air cargo. The industry’s antiquated processes need modernization. With e-air waybill utilization topping 50 per cent in April, progress is being made. And we must harness the momentum to drive transformational change across the way the industry operates,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
All regions, with the exception of Latin America, reported year-on-year increases in demand in April 2017.
European airlines posted a 12.9 per cent increase in freight volumes in April 2017 and a capacity increase of 6.9 per cent.
Asia-Pacific airlines’ freight volumes expanded 8.4 per cent in April 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier and capacity increased by 3.7 per cent.
North American carriers posted an increase in freight volumes of 7.3 per cent in April 2017, and a capacity increase of 2.1 per cent.