IATA: Demand remains stable, trade tensions are a concern

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IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac

Airfreight demand remained stable in August with 2.3 per cent growth, but it continues to be affected by trade tension and weaker exports, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports.

The growth in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in August is similar to July but is less than half the five-year average of 5.1 per cent.

Freight capacity measured in available FTK (AFTK) grew by 4.5 per cent in August, the sixth month in a row that it outstripped demand growth though yields appear to be holding up.

Growth was supported by a number of factors including buoyant consumer confidence, an upturn in the global investment cycle and growing international e-commerce.

Demand was also being negatively affected by weaker export order books in Europe, China, Japan and Korea; longer supplier delivery times being reported by manufacturers in Asia and Europe; and risks to global trade from the escalation in trade tensions.

IATA director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac says that despite the consumer confidence and economic upturn, the trade tensions are concerning.

He says: “The early focus of tariffs was not on products typically carried by air. But as the list of tariffs grows so does the air cargo industry’s vulnerability. And, we can expect souring trading relations to eventually impact business travel. There are no winners in trade wars.”