Middle East and Africa growing volumes

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The Middle East and Africa were the glowing regions of the industry in July, as all other regions saw falls in demand, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Airfreight volumes fell year-on-year (YOY) across the globe in the month compared to July in 2014, the association reports. Volumes measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) declined YOY by 0.6 per cent, which IATA says is in line with weaker global economic growth.

IATA says the most pronounced falls were in the Americas, where international FTK volumes were down YOY by more than 5 per cent compared to same month last year.

“The recent stock market turmoil shows that investors have real fears about the strength of the global economy. And the disappointing July freight performance is symptomatic of a broader slowdown in economic growth,” says IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, Tony Tyler.

Tyler adds: “The combination of China’s continued shift towards domestic markets, wider weakness in emerging markets, and slowing global trade indicates that it will continue to be a rough ride for air cargo in the months to come.”

Demand only grew in the Africa and Middle East regions, which saw surges in FTKs of 3.6 per cent and 10.8 per cent respectively.

Africa’s capacity rose by 11.4 per cent, and growth has come despite underperformance of the sizeable Nigerian and South African economies.

The Middle East saw capacity expand a substantial 18.3 per cent, and the strong monthly figures were also slightly subdued due to the timing of Ramadan, which took place in June this year, as opposed to July in 2014.

Asia Pacific continues to see a slowdown and IATA says the region has experienced a notable decline in imports and exports with Chinese manufacturing particularly struggling. FTKs fell YOY by 1.9 per cent in July, but capacity rose by 5.3 per cent.

Three regions suffered in July, notably Latin America where carriers saw a YOY fall in FTKs of 5.1 per cent. Capacity expanded by 3.2 per cent. European airlines saw a YOY fall in FTKs in July of 1.5 per cent compared to a year ago and capacity rose 3.9 per cent. Central and Eastern Europe have seen trade fall 10 per cent since the end of the first quarter.

In North America, FTKs fell 3.7 per cent and capacity grew by 5.4 per cent.