IATA Report Shows Air Cargo Ended on a High Note for 2016

The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) latest report reveals that air freight demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), grew by 3.8% in 2016 compared to 2015. This was nearly double the industry’s average growth rate of 2.0% over the last five years. Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), increased by 5.3% in 2016.

Alexandre de Juniac

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO

All regions, with the exception of Latin America, experienced positive freight growth in 2016. Carriers in Europe accounted for almost half of the total annual increase in demand.
After a weak start to 2016, global freight volumes recovered in the second half of the year. A strong peak season, an increase in the shipment of silicon materials and a turnaround in new export orders contributed to the later uptick in demand. The early timing of the Lunar New Year may also have helped push demand higher in December.

“In terms of demand, 2016 was a good year for air cargo. That was boosted by solid year-end performance. Looking ahead, strong export orders are good news. But there are headwinds. The most significant is stagnant world trade which also faces the risk of protectionist measures. Governments must not forget that trade is a powerful tool for growth and prosperity,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “The air cargo industry must also improve its competitiveness. We know that the way forward is defined by digital processes which will drive efficiency and improve customer satisfaction. We must use the momentum of renewed demand growth to drive the important innovations of the e-cargo vision.”

December 2016
(% year-on-year)
World share¹ FTK AFTK          FLF
 Total Market 100.0% 9.8% 3.2% 2.8% 46.1%
Africa 1.6% 13.6% 5.3% 2.2% 29.6%
Asia Pacific 37.5% 9.8% 5.7% 2.1% 55.1%
Europe 23.5% 16.4% 5.9% 4.5% 49.7%
Latin America 2.8% -1.0% -7.9% 2.6% 36.5%
Middle East 13.9% 11.2% 5.9% 2.1% 44.9%
North America 20.7% 3.7% -1.4% 1.8% 36.3%

¹% of industry FTKs in 2015 ²Year-on-year change in load factor ³Load factor level

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