ACI: air freight volumes up 5.5% in Q1

On the eve of the 28th ACI Europe/World General Assembly, Congree and Exhibition in Brussels from 18-20 June the Airports Council International (ACI) World has reported that gains in air freight volumes slowed in March, but up by more than five per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018.

ACI says volumes grew by only 2.4 per cent year-on-year (YOY), although accumulated volumes for the first three months jumped up by 5.5 per cent as compared to the previous year.

ACI World director general, Angela Gittens said: “The strong start to 2018 illustrated the strong and clear link between aviation and trade and strong economic conditions.

“Healthy labor markets and rising consumer and business confidence are part and parcel of strong air transport and airport sector. An open approach to trade is also key to a burgeoning air freight sector, however.

“Even with the great strides that have been achieved in air transport demand across the world’s airports, the risk of adverse trade relationships among major economies still looms as a potential challenge.”

In Africa, several major economies such as Nigeria and South Africa climbed out of weakened economic conditions, overall air freight volumes (excluding mail) grew by 11.1 per cent in Q1.

The Asia Pacific region saw volumes increase by 4.8% in Q1. China, the region’s largest market, saw its major freight hubs grow by six per cent YOY. Hong Kong (HKG), the world’s busiest air freight hub, achieved growth of 4.3 per cent.

The Middle East region experienced no gains in freight volumes in Q1 2018. Air freight volumes across its major airports saw a decline of 5.6 per cent in Q1.

Air freight volumes for Europe as a whole grew by 4.7 per cent for the first three months and ACI said growth remains “heterogeneous” across the region.

In Latin-America-Caribbean, despite some pockets of uncertainty, the region remained on the path to recovery. After several years of stagnation, air freight volumes in Latin-America-Caribbean experienced a surge in Q1 of 2018. YOY growth was 11.5 per cent, the highest increase of all regions.

Air freight volumes for North American airports grew by 7.1 per cent in Q1, Many of the major players achieved above average growth for the first three months of 2018.