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The recovery of the global economy and increased world trade are expected to see international freight volumes grow over the next five years, with Africa being in the forefront of propelling this growth.
A recent outlook by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for 2013 to 2017 shows Africa is expected to be the fastest growing region during this period.
“The fastest growing freight route for Africa is the inter-Africa market,” said a statement by IATA.
China is expected to continue growing and overthrow Germany as the second largest air freight market in 2017, after the US.
The discovery of natural resources in eastern and central Africa is expected to result in increased movement of cargo in and out of the countries.
European and Middle East carriers have been positioning themselves to tap into the growing movement of cargo in the region by investing in freighters.
Kenya Airways has also positioned itself with the introduction of freighters connecting Africa with middle and east Asia through its hub in Nairobi. In the year ending March, the airline saw its cargo tonnage grow by 17.8 per cent.
IATA also released its revised profit outlook for the global airline industry. Net profit for 2013 is expected to be $12.9 billion and will increase by 2.6 per cent to $19.7 billion in 2014.
This is an upward revision from an earlier forecast of marginal profits reaching $1.2 billion this year and rising to $3.3 billion in 2014, reflecting the positive impact of lower jet fuel prices, improvements to industry structure and efficiency.
If the 2014 profits are realised it could become the most profitable year for the airline outstripping the $19.2 billion net profit reported in 2010.
KQ is one of the airlines recording profit growth. In the first six months ending September 30, the airline reported profits of Sh384 million compared to a loss of Sh4.78 billion in the same period last year.
Sales in the six months grew from Sh49.86 billion to Sh54.34 billion. The return to profitability was attributed to fuel savings and efficiency, reflecting the global trend.
– Business Daily