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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 6.9% in January 2017 compared to the year-earlier period.
Regional Performance




African carriers’ saw freight demand increase by 24.3% in January 2017 compared to the same month last year, helped by very strong growth on the trade lanes to and from Asia.
Demand between the two continents jumped by 57% in January on the back of rapid long-haul expansion and increased direct services.




The increase in demand has helped the region’s seasonally adjusted load factor to rise after falling by five percentage points in 2016 compared to the previous year.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand in freight volumes grow 6.0% in January 2017 and capacity increase by 6.6%, compared to the same period in 2016.



The increase in demand is captured in the positive outlook from business surveys in the region. China’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to a 21-month high, Japan’s PMI to a 36-month high, while Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam also reported increases in new export orders.



North American airlines’ freight volumes expanded 6.1% in January 2017 year-on-year, as capacity increased 0.6%.
International freight volumes grew by 8.7% – their fastest pace since the US seaports disruption boosted demand in February 2015. The strength of the US dollar continued to pump up the inbound market but kept the export market under pressure.



European airlines posted an 8.7% increase in freight volumes in January 2016. Capacity increased 3.3%. The strong European performance corresponds with an increase in reported new export orders, particularly in Germany over the last few months. It was also helped in part by the ongoing weakness in the Eurozone.




Middle Eastern carriers’ freight volumes increased 8.4% year-on-year in January 2017 and capacity increased 3.3%. Seasonally adjusted freight volumes continued to trend upwards during the first month of the year supported by an increase between the Middle East and Europe. Despite this, growth has eased from the double-digit rates which were the norm over the past ten years.



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Latin American airlines experienced a demand contraction of 4.1% in January 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and a decrease in capacity of 1.4%. Recovery in the seasonally-adjusted volumes also stalled with demand 13% lower than at the peak in 2014. The region continues to be blighted by weak economic and political conditions.




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