THE freight capacity of Asia-Pacific carriers grew by 5.7 percent and freight volumes increased by 9.8 percent in December 2016 from a year earlier, the International Air Transport Association reported.
Seasonally-adjusted volumes are now back to the levels reached in 2010 during the post-global financial crisis bounce-back, the IATA said in a statement.
“The increase in demand is captured in the positive outlook from business surveys in the region,” it added.
The regions of Africa, Europe, Middle East and North America also posted positive growth, while Latin America declined by 1.0 percent.
Europe led the market with a 16.4 percent freight volume increase, followed by Africa with 13.6 percent.
Middle East rose by 11.2 percent and North America by 3.7 percent.
“In terms of demand, 2016 was a good year for air cargo. That was boosted by solid year-end performance,” said IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
“Looking ahead, strong export orders are good news. But there are headwinds. The most significant is stagnant world trade which also faces the risk of protectionist measures. Governments must not forget that trade is a powerful tool for growth and prosperity,” Juniac noted.
“The air cargo industry must also improve its competitiveness. We know that the way forward is defined by digital processes which will drive efficiency and improve customer satisfaction. We must use the momentum of renewed demand growth to drive the important innovations of the e-cargo vision,” Juniac added.