Thursday, December 10, 2009

Air Freight Cargo Update In Brief

What’s Happened in the World of Commercial Air Transport this Week
Shipping News Feature

WORLD WIDE – Air freight news snippets this week include Japan, where the debate over an “open skies” policy continues and Japanese Airlines (JAL), waiting to see if the Government are going to lend them the odd $7 to $8 billion to tide them over having had another bad cargo month. They need the State to support them by way of guarantees and meantime their cargo levels continue to drop, as they have all year. Although the rate of fall has slowed the carrier has published figures showing a decline in tonnage of over 19% for the year so far against 2008.

One doesn’t have to look far to find where JAL’s traffic has gone to. The second largest international, cargo airline in the country, All Nippon Airways (ANA), are declaring volumes of cargo up 7.5% in October after increasing almost 4% the previous month. Their domestic cargo carriage levels are down however, around 4% for the year.

This week also saw the demise of the UK’s Coventry Airport which has closed due to lack of trade. The airport was always in competition with East Midlands and its traffic base of cargo only and private aircraft has not apparently been able to compete in the current recession. Passenger flights ceased around a year ago and approximately 70 people will now lose their jobs. The local Council are keen to maintain the site as an airport but there is sure to be interest from other parties, who may wish to research the possibilities of creating a multi modal freight facility. The airport is 3 kilometres by road from the rail line into Coventry and lies a few miles North West of Daventry Rail Freight Terminal.

Air France – KLM report an almost 15% cut in cargo volumes but their reduced capacity meant a better cargo load factor for November, this aligns with the latest IATA figures which show a reduced cargo demand, down over five percent in September with a further half a percent fall in October. Despite this IATA figures for the year overall have seen a steady rise from the tail end of last year.

Individual centres bucked the trend with Los Angeles International (LAX) declaring an increase in freight volumes averaging over 5% for the past couple of months after a lengthy depression and Germany’s Frankfurt Hahn airport jumping to an all time record, up by a laudable 30% against the previous month (October).Latin American traffic into the US fell almost 20% but local freight and European trade lifted considerably in September and October.

China Southern have apparently decided to locate a main cargo hub to Shanghai. The company, who have introduced several new aircraft to their services recently and have more planes on order, will utilise the Pudong site which featured in the news here recently after the tragic crash of a freighter with fatal consequences.