Air cargo plummets as global recession deepens

Air cargo traffic has plummeted by almost a quarter as a result of the global recession, according to the latest figures released by the aviation International Air Transport Association.

Traffic fell 22.6 percent in December compared with the same month in 2007. This comes on the back of a 13.5 percent drop decrease in November.Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general, said this underlined how the entire global economy has been engulfed by the slowdown. He described it as a “free fall” and even worse than that which followed September 11, when much of the world’s cargo fleet was grounded.

“Airlines are struggling to match capacity with fast-falling demand,” he added. “Until this comes into balance, even the sharp fall in fuel prices cannot save the industry from drowning in red ink.”

The Asia Pacific, which generates 45 percent of global cargo, was worst hit with a 26 percent drop over the past year, reflecting the slump in demand for the region’s manufactured goods.

North American carrier reported a 22 percent slump in their cargo, and European airlines notched up a 21.2 percent fall.

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The drop in air cargo traffic comes as passenger traffic also continued to fall, with airlines as a whole reporting a 4.6 percent drop.
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