Full airfreight recovery years away says IATA
Global demand for air cargo in June was 16.5% lower than the same period last year and may not fully recover for "several years", according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Weak demand: Trade imbalance contributing to fall in revenue of up to 30%
Despite reaching a bottom in December, improvement had been slowed by high inventory levels and soft demand, an IATA report has shown.
"At the current pace, it will likely take several years before demand returns to early 2008 levels," the report said.
Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region reported a 15.8% fall in freight demand, a slight improvement on the 18.1% fall recorded in May, as economic conditions in emerging markets such as China improved.
European airlines posted the weakest demand for freight in June, down 20.3% compared with a drop of 19.2% in May, as consumers refrained from spending and chose to pay off debt.
North American carriers reported an 18.6% fall in demand, virtually unchanged from the 18.8% dip in May, and Middle Eastern airlines posted a 4.2% drop in freight demand.
African carriers saw demand decline by 20.2%,while Latin American carriers saw demand fall by 14.2%.
The June figure was a moderate improvement, although from extremely weak levels, over May which was 17.4% below the 2008 levels.
Adjusting for seasonal fluctuations, freight volumes actually rose 6% from the low point recorded in December 2008.
However, the utilisation of air freight capacity on international routes remained very weak in June due to unbalanced trade flows with Asia and some market share loss to ocean transport.
"Capacity cuts have not kept pace with the fall in demand," IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said.
"Airlines are seeing international revenue falls of up to 30% at the start of the busy June-August period when airlines traditionally make their money.
"The outlook remains bleak."