Figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed global air freight demand growth slowed in May while freight capacity rose. Demand growth measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) fell to 0.9 percent compared to May of last year while air freight capacity in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs) rose 4.9 percent.
IATA said demand decreased or “flat lined” except for Europe and the Middle East which showed growth in air cargo volumes of 4.5 percent and 3.2 percent respectively.
“Global trade has basically moved sideways since the end of 2014 taking air cargo with it. Hopes for a stronger 2016 are fading as economic and political uncertainty increases. Air cargo is vital to the global economy. But the business environment is extremely difficult and there are few signs of any immediate relief," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s outgoing director general and CEO.
IATA said Asia-Pacific airlines reported a 0.7 percent decrease in demand for air cargo in May compared to last year. Capacity expanded 3.7 percent. Airlines in Asia-Pacific continue to face headwinds from weak trade in the region and globally, IATA said.