The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released global traffic results for February 2012 showing a 5.2-per-cent rise in cargo demand compared to the same month in the previous year.

This was largely a result of cargo shipments that were postponed in January due to the Chinese New Year holiday and the comparison to the previous year, which was impacted by weak demand associated with the Arab Spring. Air freight volumes showed a decline on January’s performance of 1.2 per cent.

Air freight volumes increased in February from a year ago by 5.2 per cent. Cargo growth was led by Middle East carriers with an 18.2-per-cent increase in demand which was matched exactly with an 18.2-per-cent increase in capacity. The largest volume contributor to February’s growth, however, was the Asia-Pacific region, which posted a 10.2-per-cent year-on-year gain.

European and North American carriers saw year-on-year declines in cargo traffic of 1.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively. Latin American airlines saw the most significant decline with a 3.6 per cent fall compared to previous-year levels.

African carriers posted growth of 3.2 per cent over the previous year demand levels but on very small volumes.

Freight demand continued to be relatively stable. This trend started to develop in September 2011 and is consistent with improvements in business confidence.