Global airfreight has grown at rates not seen since October 2010 with freight tonne kilometres (FTK) expanding 14 per cent in March, topping off a very strong first quarter.
The strong airfreight demand is consistent with an increase in world trade and a six-year high in new export orders.
An increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air, is also likely underpinning a portion of the strong performance.
International Air Transport Association director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac says: “March capped a robust first quarter with the strongest year-on-year air freight growth in six-and-a-half years. Optimism is returning to the industry as the business stabilises after many years in the doldrums.”
“There is, however, still much lost ground to recover while facing the dual headwinds of rising fuel and labour costs.”
Capacity in available freight tonne kilometres increased 4.2 per cent around the world, with load factors rising 4.2 percentage points to 47.4 per cent.
Africa saw the strongest rise in FTKs, up 33.5 per cent with rapid growth on the trade lane to and from Asia following an increase in direct services between the continents.
Latin America continued to struggle, with a 4.2 per cent fall in FTKs, falling for the 26th time in 28 months and FTKs in the region are now 18 per cent lower than the 2014-peak.