January 10, 2018 / 11:28 AM / a year ago

Global air freight demand on track for a seven-year high - IATA

A hostess stands near logos of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) during an IATA meeting in Cancun, Mexico June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Garcia

(Reuters) - Demand for global air freight, measured in freight tonne kilometres, rose 8.8 percent in November, compared with a year earlier, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Wednesday.

The rise in November puts the air cargo industry on track for the strongest operational and financial performance since the post-global financial crisis rebound in 2010, IATA said.

The growth in freight demand, coinciding with the traditional period of strong demand seen in the fourth quarter, comes despite indicators pointing to air cargo having passed a cyclical peak, IATA said.

Available capacity rose 4.0 percent in the month, marking the 16th consecutive month of demand growth exceeding capacity growth, which is positive for industry load factors, yields, and financial performance, IATA said. Load factors increased by 2.2 percentage points to 49.1 percent.

“There are several indicators that 2018 will be a good year as well. In particular, buoyant consumer confidence, the growth of international e-commerce and the broad-based global economic upturn are cause for optimism as we head into the New Year”, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General, said.

The recently agreed US tax reform bill may also help to support freight volumes in the period ahead, IATA added.

Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski; Editing by Tom Sims

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