GENEVA, March 11 Air cargo, long stagnant after
a big hit during the 2008-09 financial crisis, should see
stronger growth this year with demand picking up in most
regions, the global airlines body IATA said on Tuesday.
In a review covering the first quarter of 2014, it said
positive cyclical developments had brought a pickup in freight
demand, especially for commodities like semi-conductors which
are mainly shipped by air.
But it gave no specific figures.
IATA, the international Air Transport Association, said
cargo heads from its member airlines surveyed in January "remain
broadly optimistic, expecting traffic growth to increase and
yields to remain stable."
Just last month, IATA director general Tony Tyler said in
Singapore that the weak demand for air cargo -- a key indicator
of the health of world trade -- remained the biggest worry for
But the review said an advance in freight operations was
being driven by growing business confidence in an overall
economic recovery and climbing consumer confidence, especially
in Europe where it was at its highest for three years.
Other drivers were a rebound in U.S. consumer confidence,
and stable consumer demand in China.
On the downside, IATA said that although jet fuel prices had
fallen slightly this year they still remained high, keeping
cargo business yields down on the levels they had reached by
March last year.
And, it said, despite a pickup in overall world trade in
recent months, further growth could be limited by a growing
trend to on-shoring - the switching of production to home base
-and protectionist moves in some countries.
(Reported by Robert Evans. Editing by Jane Merriman)