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June 2017 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis 
Air freight growth posts its strongest first half-year since 2010

A strong first half of the year for freight demand…

Year-on-year growth in global FTKs slowed to 11.0% in June, down from 12.7% in May, but remained well ahead of the five-year average pace (3.9%).

All told, industry-wide FTKs grew by 10.4% in annual terms during the first half of the year (H1 2017) – the strongest first half of a year since the rebound from the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2010. Airlines registered in Asia Pacific and Europe accounted for two-thirds of the annual increase in FTKs flown during the period, alongside solid contributions from North American and Middle Eastern carriers.

…alongside ongoing upward trend in SA volumes

Having risen strongly in SA month-on-month terms in May, freight volumes tracked sideways in June. The bigger picture is that freight volumes have continued the strong upward trend that began in mid-2016.

The stronger economic and trade backdrop…

The resurgence in air freight demand over the past year or so has been set against a stronger global economic and trade backdrop.

This is particularly evident in signs of growing order books for global manufacturers: indeed, the new export orders component of the global purchasing managers’ index (PMI) remains close to a six-year high and crucially above the notional 50-mark that indicates rising orders. In fact, at current levels, the measure is consistent with year-on-year FTK growth remaining robust, in the region of 8%, during Q3 2017.

Highlights of the June 2017 Air Freight Market Analysis

  • Global freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) grew by 10.4% year-on-year in H1 2017 – its strongest start in 7 years.
  • Industry drivers continue to indicate that the best of the cyclical growth upturn may now have passed. Nonetheless, the strong upward trend in seasonally adjusted (SA) freight traffic has reasserted itself.
  • African airlines topped the int’l FTK growth chart in H1 2017, alongside robust growth for the major regions.
  • The upward trend in demand has continued to outpace that of capacity, which is supporting the SA load factor. Download the full document here.

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