Air freight volumes show solid gains y-o-y, but face challenges, says IATA

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 10): Air freight volumes are showing solid gains on a year ago, supported by improving trade growth in some regions, according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Q42014 Chartbook.

In a report Dec 9, the IATA however said weakness in load factors and yields continues to place downward pressure on financial performance.

It said emerging Asia trade volumes continued to rise and US consumers were the most confident they have been since the recession.

The IATA said these developments have supported growth in demand for air-freighted commodities like semi-conductors.

“However, in Europe consumer confidence and trade activity have weakened due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

“Moreover, there has been no increase in global business confidence for the past several months.

The IATA said this casts doubts over the strength of the global economic upturn and prospects for continued trade growth.

It added that there have been notable declines in jet fuel prices since mid-2014 which should help reduce airline costs.

“But yields continue to decline slowly, putting strain on financial performance, and could weaken further as new aircraft deliveries come into service in 2015.

“Cargo heads surveyed in October do not expect to see any improvement in yields during the year ahead, but they do anticipate continued growth in demand,” it said.