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ASIA-PACIFIC airlines posted a 5.7 per cent year-on-year growth in air freight volumes in September, outstripping the global industry growth rate of 5.2 per cent, as trade volumes in emerging Asia continue to rise.
The release of Apple's new iPhone also lifted air freight demand out of China to other parts of the world, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
"The performance of air freight markets has closely followed developments in world trade and business activity, which both showed solid gains toward the end of 2013, only to taper off earlier this year," said Iata in its monthly report on cargo traffic. "Recent data, however, suggest that there has been a resumption in prior improvements in Asia and North America, especially."
Globally, cargo capacity expanded by 3.8 per cent, which lifted freight load factor to 45.5 per cent.
In the Asia-Pacific - which accounts for roughly 40 per cent of the market - capacity growth was nearly comparable to volume growth at 5.6 per cent, resulting in a freight load factor of 55.5 per cent.
The report also highlighted that purchasing manager surveys revealed gains in business activity in the manufacturing sector, in addition to a pronounced increase in export orders. "This should help sustain positive trade momentum in the region, which in turn ought to continue driving demand for air freight services on local carriers," Iata added.
In September, nearly all regions - save Europe - posted a growth in volume, with the Middle East registering a double-digit increase of 17 per cent.