Airfreight suffers in downturn

Australian air cargo statistics show a 5.7 per cent drop in international airfreight for the year to October 2008, with Sydney Sydney securing its position as the country’s top international freight hub, Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) figures reveal.
 
Sydney handled 31,473 tonnes of airfreight in the year to October 2008,with Melbourne a distant second, handling 17,295 tonnes. Brisbane and Perth followed, with 7,163 and 6,215 tonnes respectively.
 
Overall volumes for the country were 64,166 tonnes compared with 68,045 tonnes in the year to October 2007. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that Asia-Pacific airfreight volumes were down 11% in October.
 
The Sydney-Auckland route was the busiest with 4,964 tonnes, while the Melbourne-Singapore route recorded 4,484 tonnes (7%).
 
Qantas remains the country’s leading airfreight airline with 23.4% of the market, down 0.3% from the corresponding period in 2007. Singapore Airlines was up 1.1%, to 16%.
 
Fifty-two international scheduled airlines operated services to and from Australia during the month, which included six dedicated freight airlines, according to the BITRE report.

Australia’s aviation just keeps growing

International air freight.

Growth rates of international air freight.

(Source: www.bitre.gov.au)

Australia’s aviation industry continued its strong growth for the fifth year in a row despite the global economic downturn, Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has announced.

According to the latest edition of ‘Aviline‘, the aviation sector expanded by 4.9 per cent to $6.3 billion in 2007, representing 0.62 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product.

Over the past decade to 2007, the sector has grown by more than 66 per cent, while over the same period Australia’s national income rose by 42 per cent.

2007 also saw record air freight, with Australia’s international air cargo reaching 761,687 tonnes. However, the on-time performance of flights fell to 82.2 per cent, down 3.9 percentage points on 2006. Cancellations also slightly rose from 0.9 to 1.2 per cent of all scheduled flights.

Mr Albanese said the upcoming aviation white paper would play an important role in guiding the industry’s growth over the next decade and beyond.

“If Australia is to continue reaping the economic benefits of aviation, we need to start planning now,” he said.

“The purpose of the white paper will be to assist the industry overcome its immediate challenges, such as a lack of pilots and engineers, as well as provide new growth opportunities, including the pursuit of a more liberal international aviation market.”

He said the Federal Government was also pushing toward an Australia-European Union (EU) ‘open skies’ agreement, which is expected to remove many of the existing regulatory limitations on Australian and European airlines operating between the two continents.

“The EU is already Australia’s largest aviation market. In 2007, 4.6 million passengers travelled between Australia and the EU, an average of 43,780 passengers each way per week,” Mr Albanese said.

The latest edition of Avline can be downloaded from www.bitre.gov.au.

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