Global air cargo growth slowed sharply in November to the lowest level of the year, but volume still matched the pre-recession levels of early 2008, International Air Transport Association said.
Air freight grew 5.4 percent in November from a year ago after expanding 14.5 percent year-on-year in October, according to IATA.
The slowdown was exaggerated by an exceptionally strong performance in November 2009, according to IATA.
Cargo volume dropped 1.1 percent between October and November and was down 7 percent from May when the air freight recovery from the 2009 slump peaked.
The slower growth does not necessarily signal a negative trend, IATA noted, as international freight is still expanding at an annualized rate of between 5 and 6 percent.
“The industry is shifting gears in the recovery cycle,” IATA General Secretary Giovanni Bisignani said.
“Growth is slowing toward more normal historical levels in the five to six percent range. Relative weakness in developed markets is being offset by the momentum of economic expansion in developing markets.”
Asia/Pacific airlines increased cargo traffic by 4.1 percent in November from a year ago and transported the same volume of freight as they did in the pre-recession peak of 2008.
Middle East airlines boosted November traffic by 12.4 percent and carried 14 percent more cargo than in the 2008 peak.
North American carriers posted a 1.1 percent year-on-year rise in November shipments but volume is 7 percent down on the pre-recession peak.
European airlines freight traffic was up 6.6 percent in November but down 12 percent from the early 2008 peak.
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