GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), rose 6.9% in January 2017 compared to the year-earlier period.
While this was down from the 10% annual growth recorded in December 2016 it still was well above the average annual growth rate of 3% over the past five years.
Growth in freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), slowed to 3.5% in January 2017.
The continued positive momentum in freight growth into 2017 coincides with a steady rise in new export orders, which reached their highest level in February (latest data available) since March 2011.
Strengthening export orders
There has also been an increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air. The timing of the Lunar New Year (in January 2017) also may have contributed to higher demand in January.
“It’s been a good start to the year for air cargo. Demand growth accelerated in January, bolstered by strengthening export orders. And that outpaced the capacity growth which should be positive for yields. And, longer-term, the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will cut red tape at the borders for faster, cheaper and easier trade. The onus is now on the industry to seize the opportunity to accelerate the modernization of processes to make air cargo an even more compelling option for shippers,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
All regions, with the exception of Latin America, reported an increase in demand in January 2017:
- African carriers saw freight demand increase by 24.3% in January 2017 compared to the same month last year, helped by very strong growth on the trade lanes to and from Asia. Demand between the two continents jumped by 57% in January on the back of rapid long-haul expansion and increased direct services. The increase in demand has helped the region’s seasonally adjusted load factor to rise after falling by five percentage points in 2016 compared to the previous year.
- Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand in freight volumes grow 6.0% in January 2017 and capacity increase by 6.6%, compared to the same period in 2016. Seasonally-adjusted volumes were up considerably since early-2016 and are now back to the levels reached in 2010 during the post-global financial crisis bounce-back. The increase in demand is captured in the positive outlook from business surveys in the region. China’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to a 21-month high, Japan’s PMI to a 36-month high, while Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam also reported increases in new export orders.
- North American airlines’ freight volumes expanded 6.1% in January 2017 year-on-year, as capacity increased 0.6%. International freight volumes grew by 8.7% – their fastest pace since the US seaports disruption boosted demand in February 2015. The strength of the US dollar continued to pump up the inbound market but kept the export market under pressure.
- European airlines posted an 8.7% increase in freight volumes in January 2016. Capacity increased 3.3%. The strong European performance corresponds with an increase in reported new export orders, particularly in Germany over the last few months. It was also helped in part by the ongoing weakness in the Eurozone.
- Middle Eastern carriers’ freight volumes increased 8.4% year-on-year in January 2017 and capacity increased 3.3%. Seasonally adjusted freight volumes continued to trend upwards during the first month of the year supported by an increase between the Middle East and Europe. Despite this, growth has eased from the double-digit rates which were the norm over the past ten years. This corresponds with a slowdown in network expansion by the region’s major carriers.
- Latin American airlines experienced a demand contraction of 4.1% in January 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and a decrease in capacity of 1.4%. Recovery in the seasonally-adjusted volumes also stalled with demand 13% lower than at the peak in 2014. The region continues to be blighted by weak economic and political conditions.
World Cargo Symposium
The positive start to the year will set an optimistic backdrop for the World Cargo Symposium which will gather the air cargo industry in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 14-16 March.
Ozow partners FlySafair to improve air travel access for millions of South Africans
Thomas Pays, Co-Founder and CEO of Ozow
A new partnership between digital payments company Ozow and leading local airline FlySafair is making it easier than ever for South Africans to purchase flight tickets.
According to Ozow co-founder and CEO Thomas Pays, the vast majority of South Africans have no credit cards and require alternative means of purchasing goods and services online. “There are more than 49 million bank accounts but only eight million active credit cards in South Africa. This poses the threat of locking millions out of digital and financial services. As an impact-driven and market-led company, Ozow is at the forefront of developing products, services and partnerships that enable greater digital and financial inclusion for all consumers and businesses. The partnership with South Africa’s most innovative and consumer-friendly airline is one more step toward this goal.”
Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, says: “We’ve always respected the need to offer customers without credit cards various options to make payments both online and offline. We’re pleased to have partnered with Ozow who offer a safe, reliable and easy-to-use option for our customers.”
While airlines have been grounded and air travel limited since lockdown was first implemented in March 2020, South Africans generally love to fly. In 2017 alone, the Airports Company of South Africa tracked more than 40 million passengers traveling through the country’s nine largest airports.
Pays adds that the two companies share a commitment to ensure their services are accessible to all South Africans. “As a business, we work to break down barriers that keep more consumers from enjoying the benefits of digital payments. Cash remains the most expensive and least secure method of payment, but most South Africans still rely on cash payments for most of their purchases. By partnering with likeminded, consumer-led businesses such as FlySafair, we can accelerate the decashing of the South African economy and bring digital and financial empowerment to all South Africans.”
iFly Aviation Takes Young Aviators And STEM Program To Uganda
Kampala, Uganda: iFly is an aviation enterprise which is dedicated to bridging the gap between industry and community through inclusive youth empowerment programs. Our core focus is social innovation in Aviation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and driving our initiatives alongside key stakeholders in order to facilitate and enable the next generation.
Our purpose is to elevate learners by empowering them, motivating and giving insight into opportunities that exist within the aviation industry and educating them along the way. As part of our efforts to drive our initiatives across Africa as to create a pan African movement, we have recently launched our programs in Uganda, this being the second country after South Africa.
We hosted our first event at Nakasero secondary school in Uganda, to the delight of over 200 students. They were exposed to motivational talks including insights into aviation and its various opportunities. We had a flight simulator session where the students got exposed to a computer based flight simulator in order to see and learn first hand what happens in the cockpit during flight.
The event was also complimented by a first of its kind engine building project, an initiative of the Rolls Royce STEM program. Through this workshop, students got to build a 3D model Trent engine, the likes of which powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350, 2 of the most popular wide body airliners in the world.
Our goal a to have such programs running across the continent and we would Like to invite any like minded and passionate people across Africa to join us as ambassadors and adopt iFly STEM under our blue print in their respective countries. We sincerely appreciate our ambassadors in Uganda for pulling off a successful first event. David Ssenkungu, Derrick Talemwa, Peter Mwesigwa and Hosea Datari.
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SAA to address CEO Vuyani Jarana’s resignation, outline future plans
Picture: ANA/Ayanda Ndamane.
JOHANNESBURG – The board of South African Airways (SAA) and its executive management will on Friday take the nation into their confidence about the state-owned airline’s current and future plans in light of Vuyani Jarana’s resignation as CEO.
In a terse statement on Thursday, the leadership of the airline said it would like to put certain matters into perspective and assure its customers, the markets and stakeholders about business continuity and commitment to the implementation of the airline strategy.
Jarana tendered his resignation last week as group chief executive, citing the airline’s mounting debt due to uncertainty about funding and lack of support from government as a shareholder in implementing the airline’s long-term turnaround strategy.
In his leaked resignation letter, Jarana said that a big chunk of the R5 billion bailout SAA received from government for the 2018/19 financial year had been used to pay creditors up to the end of March 2018, to the point that the airline on three occasions was on the brink of not paying salaries.
“We have not been able to obtain any further funding commitment from government, making it difficult to focus on the execution of the strategy,” Jarana said.
“I spend most of my time dealing with liquidity and solvency issues. Lack of commitment to fund SAA, is systematically undermining the implementation of the strategy, making it increasingly difficult to succeed.”
The board of SAA accepted Jarana’s resignation, saying that he had spearheaded the implementation of the long-term strategy to return the airline to financial and operational sustainability and position it to deliver effectively on its mandate since he joined the airline in November 2017.
But workers under the SA Cabin Crew Association have slammed the airline for making Jarana’s life difficult, saying that he had, through consultation and transparency, managed to get the buy in of cabin crew at SAA into the long term turnaround strategy and his clear plan to revive the carrier’s fortunes.
The workers have even threatened to go on strike to have Jarana reinstated as SAA chief executive.
African News Agency (ANA)