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"Air cargo enjoyed a strong peak season in November. And there are encouraging signs that this growth will continue into 2017," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO. He also pointed to "the shipment of high-value consumer electronics and their component parts" as a factor in offsetting stagnant global trade, which IATA has warned about in previous statements.
De Juniac’s concerns are well founded. As an indicator, cross-border trade between the United States and its NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico, slipped another 3.6 percent to $93.2bn in October 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
On the aviation side, North American freight volumes expanded 5.6 percent, year-over-year, in November 2016, according to IATA, and capacity increased by 2.6 percent, y-o-y. That suggests that air cargo is bucking the regional trend, however, de Juniac warned that it was, “critically important for the air cargo industry to continue to improve its value offering by implementing modern customer-centric processes.”
Delta Air Lines, however, failed to catch the momentum, with its December cargo volumes falling another 3.5 percent, y-o-y, and its annual losses weighing in at a dismal 9.7 percent.
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