International air freight plummets 13.5 percent
Airlines experienced a 13.5 percent drop in international cargo volumes during November, reflecting the global decline in business activity and consumer demand for goods during the current economic crisis, the International Air Transport Association said this week.
It is the largest fall in cargo business since 2001 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States.
Carriers based in the Asia-Pacific region saw freight traffic fall by 16.9 percent, more than in any other region. The development is expected to severely dent fourth-quarter profits for these airlines, which depend on cargo for a larger share of their revenue than their rivals in other parts of the world.
Double-digit freight declines were also experienced by Latin American carriers (-15.7 percent), North American carriers (-14.4 percent) and European carriers (-11 percent). Freight traffic for Middle Eastern carriers turned negative (-1.6 percent), following 1 percent growth in October. African carriers, while being the only region posting freight growth (2.2 percent), saw a decline from the 3 percent growth posted in October.
IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani called the figures 'shocking.'
Plummeting business confidence and the continuing turmoil in financial markets indicates that the worsening trend will be continued in December, IATA said.