Global air freight growth recovered slightly in April after a low point in March, increasing by 4.1%. But IATA has remarked that growth remains significantly slower than in 2017.
“April saw a strengthening from the abrupt slowdown in growth experienced in March. This is good news,” said Alexandre de Juniac, CEO and Director General of IATA. “We remain cautiously optimistic that demand will grow in the region of 4% this year.
“But the forecast appears to have increasing downside potential. Oil prices continue to rise as does protectionist rhetoric. Borders open to people and to trade drive economic growth and social prosperity. We are all disadvantaged when they are closed.”
IATA attributed some of the weaker growth to the end of the restocking cycle, in which business inventories are rapidly increased to meet high demand. But it noted simultaneous slowing demand for air freight and containerised sea freight, pointing to weakening global trade.
Latin American airlines enjoyed the highest growth in demand in April, at 10.6%. This was followed by the Middle East at 7.3%, Africa at 5.6%, Asia-Pacific at 3.9%, North America at 3.2%, and Europe with just 2.4% growth.