Air Transport World

Airfreight recovery continues: cargo should post another solid year of traffic growth, but yields remain soft and new costs loom.(Forecast)

Airfreight doesn't get sick and it isn't afraid to fly in the face of terrorist threats. When passengers stayed home last spring owing to concerns about SARS and the impending war in Iraq, air cargo continued to hum.

"We saw quite a strong amount of growth," says IATA Director-Cargo Phil Sims from Montreal. IATA reported that international freight traffic (FTKs) of member carriers rose 7.2% in the first six months of 2003 compared to 2002 while passenger traffic plummeted 7.1% over the same period, primarily on SARS- and terrorism-related fears. Although freight traffic growth slowed during the second half of the year, Sims expects that the industry ended 2003 with a 5.3% rise in international FTKs, improved from a 5% increase in 2002 over 2001. …

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