African carriers have recorded a 3.8 per cent surge in freight demands amid a 4.8 per cent slump in global demand.The African region was the only one to report growth in June 2019 according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) data for global air freight markets released yesterday.
This makes Africa the strongest performer for the fourth consecutive month as capacity grew 16.6 per cent. Route analysis shows that the Africa-Asia performance is strong, up 12 per cent year-on-year. Data for global air freight markets showed that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), decreased by 4.8 per cent in June 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This marks the eighth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in freight volumes.
Signs of a modest recovery in recent months appear to have been premature, with the June contraction broad-based across all regions with the exception of Africa.
Capacity growth remains subdued and the cargo load factor continues to fall. Globally, trade growth is languishing, and business uncertainty is compounded by the latest tariff increases in the U.S.-China trade dispute.
IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac, said global trade continues to suffer as trade tensions – particularly between the U.S. and China – deepen.
“As a result, air cargo markets continue to contract. Nobody wins a trade war. Borders that are open to trade spread sustained prosperity. That’s what our political leaders must focus on,” he said. Airlines in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East once again suffered the sharpest declines in year-on-year growth in total air freight volumes in June 2019. Africa was the only region to show any growth.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 5.4 per cent in June 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. Although an important factor, the U.S.-China trade war is not solely responsible for the fall. FTKs for the within-Asia market have decreased more than 10 per cent over the past year. Air freight capacity increased by 1.8 per cent over the same period.
North American airlines’ freight demand decreased by 4.6 per cent in June 2019, compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 1.9 per cent over the past year. U.S.-China trade tensions are weighing on the performance, with FTKs to Asia down five per cent. FTKs on routes to/from Europe, South America and Middle East were also lower.
European airlines posted a 3.6 per cent decrease in freight demand in June 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier. Comparatively strong cargo volumes within Europe are helping to minimise the impact of weaker German exports. Capacity increased by 2.8 per cent year-on-year.
Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes decreased 7.0 per cent in June 2019 compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased by 2.7 per cent. Seasonally-adjusted demand has been falling since late 2018, and the latest data show volumes to Europe (-7.2 per cent) and Asia-Pacific (-6.5 per cent) were particularly weak.
Latin American airlines experienced a decrease in freight demand in June 2019 of 1.0 per cent compared to the same period last year and capacity increased by 4.6 per cent. Much of the decline in traffic can be attributed to weakness in the within-South America market (especially Brazil and Argentina) where FTKs fell 6.5 per cent.
Nigeria Saves $500,000 From Calibration Aircraft – Minister
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that Nigeria will be saving a lot of money from the acquisition of a custom made calibration aircraft recently acquired by the Federal Government.
Sirika who disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents in Abuja, Tuesday, said the purpose of the aircraft was to calibrate navigational equipment and aid the country for the purpose of flight operations.
The aircraft which is worth about $8.5 million, according to the minister, will be commercialised to generate revenue, and keep the industry safe.
“We used to have one in Nigeria, but for the last two decades, we never had any. What propelled us to procure this aircraft was that while we were reconstructing the Abuja runway, we needed to recalibrate all those landing aids. That is the standard requirement and this is to ensure they are working in perfect order.
“The last time Nigeria had such aircraft was 20 years ago under cover aviation flying unit. We did not have the capacity as a country, the only people close to us that had is ASECNA which is owned by French speaking countries, but the aircraft is domiciled in Niger.
“We approached them but they did not have a slot for us. If I hadn’t got the support of far away South Africa, we would not beat the six weeks deadline.
“Nigeria will be saving a lot of money by procuring this aircraft. I know I paid about $500,000 when our equipment was due to South African contractor to carry out the task.
“ If you say every six months, we will do this, and that would be half a million dollars every six months. So when we do it sixteen times, the value of the aircraft would have been paid. Not only that, we will commercialise it to generate revenue and keep our industry safe “, Sirika said.
The minister, however, explained that it took about nine months from when the request was made to the completion and installation of the equipment.
The Tide reports that the aircraft was built in Textron Aviation Services, Kansas in the United States, and it is expected to improve safety in the aviation industry.
PH Airport Manager Seeks Safety Awareness, Education At Airports
The Safety Manager, Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Mr Oguche Samuel, has harped on the need for continuous awareness and education on safety at the nation’s airports.
He said the continuous safety education would create awareness to staff and stakeholders at the airports on their safety responsibilities.
Samuel disclosed this while addressing participants at the safety promotion day at the airport which focused on Foreign Object Deris (FOD),
He urged participants and staff to be good safety ambassadors in their day to day activities, stressing that safety is one of the core values of FAAN.
Meanwhile, the management of the Port Harcourt International Airport has keyed into the Airport Emergency Plan programme as plans are in full gear towards the certification of the airport.
The Tide reliably learnt that the management of the airport recently took steps in training staff in relevant departments on emergency plan.
Instructors from Accra in Ghana, it was gathered, were invited to train some of the staff of the airport in the later part of last year.
The training was aimed at developing staff capacity to effectively and efficiently handle emergency response with the certification of the airport.
FAAN Moves To Check Security Threats At Airside
Following reported cases of intrusion into airside at the nation’s airports, particularly at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at nights, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu has taken steps to install thermal and infrared cameras for airside monitoring and patrol.
The introduction of thermal and infrared cameras is meant to monitor and expose happenings or any intruder who manages to gain access to airports, especially at nights.
FAAN, in a press statement on Tuesday, said it took the steps because anything that happens at the airside, has a ripple effect on the aviation industry.
“We are mostly particular about the airside because at the end of the day, security and safety are paramount and anything that happens at the airside has a ripple effect and we are here to ensure that our airports are safe.
FAAN posited that it is a dangerous practice to go and open aircraft cargo door because of the engine blast which might occur on the process.
“The proximity switch and the plunder could vibrate when the engine level is moved above idle running; for some seconds, the light may flash and warning light will remain off. It is even an easy thing to open the cargo door while the engine is running.
“Rotation of the handle activates a torque tube to withdraw the latch rollers from the latch fitting and as the door swings on board under tension of the door balance mechanism, the door warning proximity switch is activated to energize the appropriate door warning in the control cabin to alert the Crewe”, FAAN stated.
Enumerating other efforts being made to tackle the problem, FAAN explained that the Authority has put patrol vans fitted with cameras on the dashboard to capture the environment during patrol, saying although this might be a temporary measure.
Our correspondent reports that there were reports of incidents of intruders allegedly opening the cargo compartment of aircraft either taxing or holding on the runway, particularly at the Lagos airport, which had become a cause of concern to FAAN management.
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