Air freight growth stabilises in April: IATA

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Global air freight growth stabilised in April but continues to be weak, says the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Air freight tonne kilometres increased 1.4% year-over-year in April, compared to a 2.6% contraction in March.

April marks 18 months of no significant growth in the air freight market, says IATA. The Asia-Pacific and North American markets are among those feeling the trend, with freight volumes falling 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively.

"We saw a brief rally in cargo markets at the end of 2012. But that has clearly stalled," says Tony Tyler, director general and chief executive of the IATA, in a release. "Fortunately, the small improvement in April means that economic conditions have not deteriorated to the point of starting a market contraction."

Some markets are seeing improvements despite the weak global conditions.

"If we look to emerging markets - particularly Latin America and the Middle East - we do see some encouraging signs of growth," says Tyler.

Latin American carriers saw a 12.2% expansion in cargo demand for April from a year earlier, and freight demand in the Middle East grew 8.6% from April 2012.

Europe and Africa saw less pronounced growth in freight demand, with growth of 0.9% and 1.4% respectively in April.