The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents some 230 airlines around the world, has said that a significant drop in cargo growth was registered in May 2008.
Cargo demand increased by 1.3 percent, down from the 4.3 percent recorded for the full year 2007. IATA said that the biggest cause of the slow growth came from a 0.5 percent contraction in Asian carrier traffic, which was due to the impact of the earthquake in China and weakness in the Japanese economy.
International passenger traffic grew by 6.0 percent in May. This is slower than the 7.4 percent increase recorded for the full year 2007, but is stronger than expected given the economic downturn, IATA said. The growth came as US airlines shifted 1.7 billion available seat miles from domestic routes to international routes, resulting in a 7.9 percent rise in capacity in international markets.