The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released figures showing cargo growth stabilizing in September following recent months of slow but steady growth. Freight Tonne Kilometers (FTK) grew by 0.5 per cent year-on-year. While this is slower that the 3.4per-cent growth recorded for August, overall air cargo volumes are at a 25-month high, and steady increases in the size of the market since April have been supported by improvements in business conditions. The slow-but-steady global growth picture is coloured by significant regional variation. Asia-Pacific airlines experienced a 3.1-per-cent fall in cargo activity compared to last September whereas carriers in the Middle East reported 9.9-per-cent growth. “The story behind September’s performance is regional. The leveling-off of global volumes was a result of the growth rate in Europe and the Middle East moderating after recent acceleration, while Asia-Pacific airlines saw a deepening of the market weakness,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“At a global level, the September results are aligned with our expectations for an improvement towards the end of the year. All indicators still point to strengthening business confidence as we approach the final quarter. That’s cause for cautious optimism. But the persistent cargo weakness when compared to the strength of passenger markets is a signal for the industry to work at improving its value proposition with programs such as e-freight,” Tyler said.