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Demand for airfreight began increasing slowly in April, in line with strengthening business confidence, as economic performance in Europe and the U.S. showed signs of improvement. But a strong upswing would require a significant improvement in the cargo performance of Asia-Pacific airlines, which are the largest players in global air cargo with a collective 38-percent market share. Their year-on-year performance for August was flat.
"There are some signs of improvement in demand, but the airfreight business remains very tough," Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO, said. "Freight volumes are only now reaching the levels of 2011 when the cargo business peaked with revenues of $67bn. This year, we expect $59bn of revenues from air cargo globally. That takes the top line back to 2007 levels. But to earn that revenue, we will be moving nearly 17 percent more cargo and dealing with a 40-percent hike in jet fuel. The road ahead will be challenging."
The bulk of the August growth came from carriers in Europe and the Middle East, while Asia-Pacific volumes were stagnant and African volumes fell significantly.
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