IATA: Freight traffic down 20% for third consecutive month

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International freight volumes have remained more than 20% down for the third month in a row, according to newly-released figures from IATA.

The February statistics show that freight volume was 22.1% below levels for the same month last year.

"We may have found a bottom to the freight decline but the magnitude of the drop means that it will take time to recover," says IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani.

Passenger volume was down by 10.1% and an "aggressive" slashing of capacity, by 5.9%, could not keep up with the falling demand.

As a result load factor in February was down by 3.2 points, sinking below the 70% mark.

African airlines suffered the greatest decline in passenger demand, 13.7%, and Asia-Pacific airlines' passenger traffic was down by 12.8% - only part of which, claims IATA, could be attributed to the Chinese new year holiday period.

North American carriers experienced a 12% fall in demand while the decline in Europe reached 10.1%.