Demand for air freight in August was 2.3 per cent up on a year ago, though capacity rose even more, by 4.5 per cent, according to the International Air Transport Association.Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and chief executive, said: “August demand for air cargo grew at 2.3 per cent, unchanged from the previous month. Buoyant consumer confidence, the growth of international e-commerce and the broad-based global economic upturn are behind the growth.
“But there are downside risks. Order books are weakening and supply delivery times are lengthening. And the growing trade tensions are a spectre over the industry. The early focus of tariffs was not on products typically carried by air. But as the list of tariffs grows so does the air cargo industry’s vulnerability.
“And, we can expect souring trading relations to eventually impact business travel. There are no winners in trade wars,” said de Juniac.
European airlines posted the fastest growth of any region in August 2018, with an increase in demand of 3.7 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier, said IATA. Despite a weakening in manufacturing firms’ export order books in Europe, particularly Germany, international air cargo demand has trended upwards at an annualized rate of 8 per cent over the last six months. Strong conditions on the transatlantic market and a pickup in demand between Europe and Asia have driven this growth. Capacity increased by 5.2 per cent year-on-year.