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AsPac carriers hike freight volume 1.3% in January

MANILA, Philippines – AsiaPacific-based carriers have resumed their upward trend in air freight volume despite the weak backdrop of trade to and from the region, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported.

Latest data from IATA showed AsiaPacific carriers expanded 1.3 percent in freight ton kilometers (FTKs) in January after posting several dips in 2015.

“The carriers have accounted for the bulk of the recovery in seasonally adjusted industry-wide freight volumes seen since the middle of last year,” IATA director general and chief executive officer Tony Tyler said.

According to IATA, emerging Asian trade contracted in month-on-month terms throughout the second half of 2015. Notwithstanding the spike of the seaport disruption in early 2015, US trade data showed eastbound air freight on the Pacific route also declined throughout the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, global air freight volume showed a 2.7 percent rise in January, an improving trend since end-2015 and the fastest pace since April last year, but weak trade performance makes it unlikely to accelerate the increase in the next months.

“It is good news that volumes are growing, but yields and revenues are still under tremendous pressure. Air cargo plays a vital role in our globalized and fast-paced world in which trade is the foundation for long-term prosperity. Removing barriers to trade is a win-win,” Tyler said.

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He added that improved business environment for air cargo would help facilitate needed technology and process investments to make the industry a stronger catalyst for growth and development.

Furthermore, Middle Eastern carriers saw the strongest growth as volume expanded 8.8 percent in January, backed by large-scale network and fleet expansion by the region’s airlines.

Demand for European carriers grew 2.5 percent but IATA said growth trend looks weak for the coming months and a possibility to slip back into negative territory.

North American carriers, likewise, edged up 2.5 percent in January relating to the sharp rise in air imports from Europe towards end-2015 as opposed to exports which are struggling with the strong dollar.

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