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.
Amadeus signs enhanced technology collaboration with EgyptAir
Amadeus has signed a long-term, comprehensive technology partnership with EgyptAir. The deal is an extension of an existing relationship between the Egyptian flag-carrier and one of the world’s travel technology leaders and comes as the airline refreshes its digital offering ahead of a renewed period of growth.
Yehia Zakaria, chief executive, EgyptAir Group, said: “Amadeus is in a position to support EgyptAir throughout its digital transformation, allowing us to provide customers with a best-in-class travel experience. Once these advanced solutions, including a new digital e-commerce platform are fully implemented, our employees will have the freedom and flexibility to better serve our passengers around the world.”
Included in the deal is Amadeus Revenue Management, which accurately forecasts demand by analyzing customer purchase behavior, competitor pricing, and yield capacity. New digital solutions will also deliver a frictionless web and mobile experience to travelers while Amadeus Altéa Booking Intelligence will help minimize fraud. Finally, EgyptAir will migrate to a new loyalty platform, where members will benefit from customer-centric experiences based upon traveler insights.
Maher Koubaa, Vice President, EMEA, Airlines, Amadeus, said: “Amadeus has long been a trusted partner of EgyptAir and the renewal we have signed will extend the relationship for many years to come. It also deepens the connection, with the flag-carrier positioning itself for future growth in the Middle East and beyond, thanks to the digital upgrade and operational enhancements that this suite of innovative solutions will deliver for EgyptAir, its staff and customers.”
Amadeus continues to build its position in Egypt and the Middle East, with discussions ongoing with a number of other carriers in the region.
EgyptAir is the state-owned flag carrier of Egypt. The airline is headquartered at Cairo International Airport, its main hub, and operates scheduled passenger and freight services to 81 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. EgyptAir is a member of Star Alliance.
Ava Airways CEO, Amb. Olivier Arrindell set to connect Africa and the Americas
Ava Airways CEO, Amb. Olivier Arrindell (Photo: Image Supplied)
The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) has reported over $38 billion USD in airline ticket sales transacted between January and July 2022 in the Americas. Another estimated 20% of that revenue is booked outside the ARC. The best investment right now for the next fifteen years before the slowdown, would be within an airline that is based in the Americas with the right strategy and plans, said Amb. Olivier Arrindell.
The Global Diaspora Summit a few years ago was the culmination of a worldwide dialogue process among Africans on the continent and the Diaspora on the content, programs and plan of action for the AU’s Diaspora program. The outcome of the various consultations was consolidated by three African Diaspora Ministerial Conferences between 2007 and 2012 into a Draft Declaration to be considered by the Summit.
The African Union has approved the following definition of the African Diaspora: “The African Diaspora consists of peoples of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” With this being said our contribution is going to be in the form of consistent Air connectivity via commercial scheduled air transportation of passengers and Cargo between Africa and Central America/Caribbean.
The Americas population of over 1.2 billion and with 54% of the population being of African descent is the largest African diaspora outside of Africa and within emerging economies and strong economies.
Amb. Olivier Arrindell goal via Ava Airways is to implement the concrete ways and means of harnessing the abundant human and material resources in Africa and beyond. And to advance the Socio-economic development of both the Continent, in close and sustainable partnership with the African Diaspora in the Americas via Air connectivity. There are well established Air transportation agreements in place with some African nations and Caribbean countries. However, there is no adequate air transportation system between Africa and Central America/Caribbean and socio-economic development cannot take place. Therefore, Ava Airways as a company have already put in place all the necessary steps to prepare for the scheduled inaugural flight between mainland Africa and Central America/Caribbean via its hub in Santo Domingo.
A three-day business trip in Santo Domingo where you buy your goods followed by another four days in Ocho Rios or Montego Bay Jamaica on the beach sounds far more attractive then flying to the Middle East. However, Arrindell believes proper education must be provided about the Caribbean. He is very much positive about the near future because Ava Airways, as a company, are set fast on the course of economic connectivity.
Arrindell have concluded with the adoption in his last board meeting to include 11 major African cities into their master plan route network to provide Africa a gateway to the Americas that also include a visa free travel to some destination which will:
- Take concrete measures that would promote and sustain linkages between Africa and the Diaspora in the following priority areas: trade and investment, science and technology, travel and tourism, communication and transportation infrastructure, energy, information, communication technology and cultural industries;
- Ava Airways flights will enable the establishment of multi-stakeholder working groups of Africa, CARICOM, and Latin America citizens which will establish economic cooperation (including infrastructure of sea and air links, trade and investment, travel and tourism).
The near future of Air transportation between Africa, Central America/Caribbean is predicted to be extremely profitable to those who can properly connect Africa and the Americas with a business model that is innovative and has a clear understanding of the dynamics of our people.
Etihad Airways launches flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Zanzibar
Etihad Airways (Image: Etihad)
Etihad Airways today announced three new quarantine-free destinations for the coming winter season. This November, the airline will begin flying to Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, and the beautiful Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. The new additions to Etihad’s network mean the UAE’s national carrier will be operating to 70 destinations across 47 countries.
Etihad Airways has launched a sale on fares to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Zanzibar, valid until midnight on 6 October 2021. Available on a first come, first served basis, guests can enjoy return fares starting from AED 995 in Economy and AED 3995 in Business class.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad, said: “We’re proud to be launching Etihad’s newest destinations in Africa this winter and we’re confident our guests will find they are all incredible places to visit.
“Johannesburg is an important route on our network and offers vital connectivity to and from the southern African region. On the southern coast, Cape Town is a breathtaking part of the world, with something to offer the most discerning traveller. Likewise, the beautiful island of Zanzibar will complement our network to the Maldives and Seychelles offering more choice for leisure travellers looking to enjoy the glorious Indian ocean.
“We are also thrilled to offer connectivity for travellers from both countries to visit our home the UAE over the winter months. With the world’s greatest show, Expo 2020, opening now there has never been a better time to visit Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
Etihad will start flights to Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city, from 25 November. At the same time, Etihad will launch its operation to the stunning coastal city of Cape Town. Both destinations will operate three times per week on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The route will be serviced by Etihad’s flagship and most-sustainable aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with 28 Business Studios, 78 Economy Space seats and 184 Economy seats.
The new service to Zanzibar will operate from 26 November giving residents in the UAE the ideal winter holiday. The route will also offer easy connectivity for guests travelling from Europe and North America and transiting through Abu Dhabi. The scheduled flights will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays on the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft offering 8 seats in Business and 150 seats in Economy.
Guests flying with Etihad can fly with complete peace of mind thanks to the Etihad Wellness programme, which includes complimentary COVID-19 insurance, valid for travel until 31 March 2022, for all passengers. The airline’s innovative Verified to Fly service also simplifies the process of authenticating travel documents before travel. With Verified to Fly travellers can validate their documents before arriving at the airport, giving them the confidence that they have met all essential government and airline travel requirements before travelling to the airport.
Etihad was the first airline in the world to fully vaccinate its crew on board. The airline also requires 100% of its passengers to show a negative PCR test before boarding which protects the inflight environment, now recognised to be one of the best in the world. Consequently, Etihad was awarded Diamond status at the inaugural APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying audit in January 2021.