IATA: Maritime competition inhibits air cargo growth
International air freight traffic grew 4.3 percent in 2007, according to statistics released by the International Air Transport Association.
IATA, whose 240 airlines account for 94 percent of scheduled international air traffic, said the growth was down from the 4.6 percent increase seen in 2006 and “much lower than the 7-8 percent growth trend of recent years.”
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, said last year’s performance “was also below the 7.5 percent at which global trade expanded, highlighting a competitiveness issue with shipping.”
While air freight demand grew 4.7 percent in December, up from 3.5 percent in November, IATA said this was “largely due to temporary, year-end related factors.”
It added, “Air freight demand environment will remain challenging. Growth is expected to slow in the first half of 2008 before picking up with overall growth of 4-4.5 percent projected for 2008.”
The outlook was better for passenger traffic, which grew 7.4 percent in 2007 up considerably from the 5.9 percent increase recorded during 2006.
“Strong passenger traffic growth of 7.4 percent was a key component of the industry’s $5.6 billion profit in 2007 — the first black number since 2000,” Bisignani said.