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Global air freight demand up 8% on year in January: IATA

London (Platts)--7Mar2018/920 am EST/1420 GMT


Global air freight demand in January 2018 rose 8% in terms of freight ton kilometers (FTKs), data from the International Air Transport Association showed Wednesday, marking an increase from December despite expectations that air cargo demand had peaked.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), grew by 4.2% on the year in January.

Supportive drivers for air cargo persisted at the start of the new year, with global demand for manufacturing exports serving to support the industry, IATA said.

Looking to the rest of the year, IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said that he expects further growth for air cargo but that demand will likely taper to "a more normal" 4.5%.

He added that there were potential negative impactors on the horizon however, "if President Trump follows through on his promise to impose sanctions on aluminum and steel imports, there is a very real risk of a trade war. Nobody wins when protectionist measures escalate."

Africa had the largest year-on-year increase in FTKs in January, of 12.9% with capacity up 5.3%. Demand in the region continues to be supported by strong African-Asian trade routes.

Europe came in in second place in January, with 10.5% growth in FTKs, helped by strong growth in new export orders among the region's manufacturers.

--Caroline Knight, caroline.knight@spglobal.com
--Edited by James Leech, james.leech@spglobal.com

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