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Air freight traffic falls 22.1% in Feb

Posted on: March 27, 2009

Bernama – Friday, March 27

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 (Bernama) — International air freight traffic fell 22.1 percent in February compard with the same month a year ago, the airline industry body, International Air Transport Association (Iata), said today.

In a statement here today, Iata said the February decline was the third consecutive month with volumes at more than 20 percent below previous-year levels following a 23.2 percent fall in January and 22.6 percent decline in December.

Its director general/chief executive officer, Giovanni Bisignani, said the freight traffic has begun to decline in June 2008, before passenger markets were hit.

“We may have found a bottom to the freight decline, but the magnitude of the drop means that it will take time to recover,” he said.

Bisignani said all cargo markets saw extremely weak demand continued as a result of the collapse in international trade in goods and the much lower shipments of components by manufacturers.

Freight demand in Asia, the region most affected by the decline in shipments, fell 24.7 percent year-on-year in February, it said.

“Japanese exports have almost halved from February 2008,” it said.

He said the African carriers had the worst performance with a 30.7 percent drop due to a loss of market share on long-haul routes combined with the impact of the economic downturn.

European, North American and Latin American carriers saw demand down by 23.1 percent, 21.8 percent and 22.8 percent respectively, he said.

Bisignani said air passenger traffic also declined last month, but less sharply than cross-border cargo.

“The overall passenger volumes fell 10.1 percent below February 2008 levels, following a 5.6 percent year-on-year fall in January,” he said. — BERNAMA



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