Geneva: International air cargo traffic picked up in October after falling since May to stand 14.4% higher than a year earlier, the airline industry body IATA said on Thursday.
October’s year-on-year increase in air freight - an important indicator of trade and economic recovery -- was below September’s 15.5% rise but the monthly rise followed a 5% fall since May, the International Air Transport Association said in its monthly analysis of air traffic.
“Freight appears to be at a turning point,” IATA said.
“But a single month does not make a trend. And it remains to be seen if this is the stabilisation in freight volumes or the start of an upward trend,” its director-general, Giovanni Bisignani, added in a statement.
Freight traffic, which accounts for 35% of the value of goods traded internationally, is now 1% above pre-crisis levels of early 2008, IATA said.
Passenger demand -- a reflection of business and consumer confidence -- was 10.1% higher in October than a year earlier, slightly below September’s 10.7% rise, and is now 5% above pre-crisis levels.
IATA said airlines were reacting to this year’s rebound in demand with cautious increases in capacity.
In the first 10 months of this year an 8.5% increase in passenger demand was matched by a 4.0% increase in capacity, while a 24% increase in freight demand led to only a 9.2% rise in cargo capacity.
Airlines are planning a further 7.5% increase in passenger capacity for the half-year scheduling period beginning at the end of October, said IATA, which represents 230 airlines including Aeroflot, Air China and Lan Airlines.
Passenger growth in October was strongest among Middle Eastern airlines and weakest in Latin America.