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            january 19, 2020

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Air cargo volumes in Africa surged 12.6 pc in October


According to data compiled by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), globally airfreight volumes dropped by 3.5 per cent in 2018. The decrease marks a weak start to the traditional peak season for air cargo and the 12th straight month of year-on-year drops in freight traffic, Lagos Guardian reported.
Strong trade and investment links with Asia contributed to positive performance. Freight volumes on key Africa-Asia routes rose by 23 per cent in September. Capacity expanded by 13.9 per cent. Over the past year, air cargo has suffered from the effects of the US-China trade war and the slowdown in global trade and economic growth.
"Demand is set to decline in 2019 overall - the weakest annual outcome since the global financial crisis. It has been a very tough year for the air cargo industry," IATA's director general Alexandre de Juniac said.
Airlines in Asia Pacific and the Middle East suffered sharp declines in year-on-year growth in total air freight volumes in October, while Latin American and European carriers experienced a more moderate decline.
Asia Pacific airlines saw demand for airfreight contract by 5.3 per cent in October. Capacity rose by 0.6 per cent. The US-China and South Korea-Japan trade wars have negatively impacted the region. Plus, disruption to operations at Hong Kong international airport has dented activity. However, the thawing of US-China trade relations and robust economic growth in key regional economies are positive developments.
North American airlines saw demand fall by 2.4 per cent in October on a 3.1 per cent rise in capacity. The underlying strength of the US economy has seen domestic air cargo outperform international. European airlines posted a 1.5 per cent drop in freight demand in October, albeit better than September's 3.5 per cent decrease. Capacity was up by 2.8 per cent year on year.
Middle Eastern airlines' freight volumes fell six per cent in October. This was the sharpest drop in freight demand of any region. Capacity increased by 0.9 per cent. Against a backdrop of operational and geopolitical challenges facing the region's key airlines, seasonally adjusted freight volumes have resumed a modest upwards trend.
Latin American airlines experienced a decrease in freight demand in October of 2.6 per cent. Various social and economic headwinds in the region's key economies have impacted air cargo performance. Capacity was up 2.3 per cent.

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