In just a few months, Africa is experiencing its fastest growth in the freight industry since the global economy collapse. African Airlines are now experiencing strongest growth in 7 years
Data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the global airfreight markets shows that the volumes were up 31.6 per cent, with a capacity increase of 7.6 per cent.
This improvement contributed to a freight demand growth of 25.9 per cent in the first half of 2017 — the fastest in all regions.
The demand has resulted from increased trade between the continent and China, which has grown by nearly 60 per cent in the six months to June 2017.
“Seasonally adjusted growth has levelled off in recent months; but growth is set to remain in double digits for the remainder of 2017,” IATA said in its half-year report.
IATA director-general Alexandre de Juniac said that air cargo is flying high on the back of a stronger global economy and a rebound from the 2010 global economic crisis.
“This was the strongest first half-year performance in seven years and nearly triple the industry’s average growth rate of 3.9 per cent over the past five years.
“We have seen the demand grow at a faster pace than at any time since the global financial crisis. That’s great news after many years of stagnation,” said Mr Juniac.
“And even more importantly, the industry is taking advantage of this momentum to accelerate the much-needed modernization process and improve the value it provides to its customers.”
In June, Ethiopian Airlines, announced that it had signed a commitment with Boeing for the purchase of two B777 freighters at a cost of $651.4 million. This was after purchasing two aircraft to boost its freight business.
The airline’s group chief executive officer Tewolde Gebre Mariam said the freighters are strategic for the airline as it seeks to chart its long-term plan.
“We are building one of the world’s largest cargo terminals, and having new generation and high performance aircraft shows our commitment in supporting the continent’s growing cargo and logistics service,” said Mr Tewolde.
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