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OAG forecasts annual growth for international airfreight


The international airfreight market will continue to flourish with 6.1% average annual growth rate during a10-year forecast period (2008-2017). The global airfreight industry is dealing with issues common to the rest of the aviation industry: a teetering global economy, increasing security regulations, skyrocketing fuel costs, changing currency exchange issues and environmental initiatives. These are the findings of OAG (Official Airline Guide) Analytical Services in its third annual Global Air Freight Forecast which projects trends in airfreight demand and fleet for 2008-2017. With these underlying trends, the forecast says there will be a return to an average annual growth rate of 5.6% by 2011 after a slowdown in the near term. OAG also sees the trends as creating a growing demand for freighter aircraft.

Meanwhile, security and environmental issues are expected to pull down demand for regional airfreight trade to 3.9% average annual growth. The Middle East has emerged as the fastest growing region, pushing China to third place behind Africa in terms of growth rates. The trade between North America and China remains the largest global market for airfregiht, according to OAG.

Hong Kong’s air cargo throughput grew to 320,000 tonnes in April 2008, a 7.3% increase from April 2007. According to Stanley Hui, CEO of Airport Authority Hong Kong, “April saw a significant increase in cargo transshipments, particularly to and from the North America and Chinese Mainland. Imports and exports to the Asia Pacific region as well as exports to Europe and North America also recorded healthy growth."

“In spite of an uncertain economic outlook,” Hui added, “our view for the months ahead is cautiously optimistic.” For the four months ended April 30, 2008, cargo traffic grew 8.1% to 1.2 million tonnes. Air traffic movements increased 5.3% to 99,320.