Air travel picks up but cargo growth slips

THE recovery in the global air travel market gathered pace last month, but falling freight has sparked concern about the impact on the economic recovery of spending cuts.

Passenger numbers rose 10.5 per cent year-on-year in September, significantly stronger than the 6.5 per cent increase in August, according to figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

IATA said the better passenger growth could be due to normal travel volatility boosted by factors such as the religious festival of Ramadan.

Freight traffic rose 14.8 per cent, down from the 19 per cent in August and a larger fall than expected.

IATA ?voiced concern about the drop in freight, saying consumer and business confidence was weak in many parts of the world.

Spending to boost the economic recovery had failed to follow a lift in cargo earlier this year.

IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani said the passenger recovery was good news, but the freight numbers were worrying.

“Freight activity has fallen six per cent since May’s post-crisis peak. What we see in air cargo markets is inevitably reflected in the broader economy,” he said.