The problem for international airlines as for other modes is increased fuel costs that can mean income losses for the carriers. Unlike factors that have tended to hold passenger traffic down – like SARS concerns in Asia which have now diminished – airfreight volumes have grown by 14.1% for the first seven months when compared year-over-year.
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO, notes that airlines are well aware of how fuel costs work to weaken them and have taken measures to improve efficiency. However, he notes, “Airlines cannot do it alone. The high cost of fuel exaggerates existing inefficiencies in the industry’s infrastructure. Air traffic control delays and inefficient routing are wasteful – something we cannot tolerate.”
According to the IATA, Asian business continues show strength. In recognition of that, for example, the new Air France and KLM cargo alliance is beginning to boost freighter traffic to Asia, among others.
Starting at the end of October, the alliance will increase three weekly cargo flights to Bangkok to four, there will be two weekly cargo flights to Atlanta instead of one, and Sao Paulo will now have three weekly cargo flights rather than two.