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According to a report tabled by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), African airlines have recorded higher freight volumes in the first half of this year. This growth is mainly attributed to the increasing trade between African countries with their Asian counterpart.

China comes top of the list of Asian countries doing business with Africa. Experts say trade between China and Africa has grown by almost 60% in the first half of this year.

IATA stats show that international air freight markets volume rose by 31.6%, while the capacity increase by 7.6%. The capacity improvement led to a freight growth by 25.9% in the first half of 2017.

IATA Director-General Alexandre de Juniac says in the Q1 of 2017, air cargo was skyrocketing thanks to a stronger global economy and the fact that the economy was rebounding from the 2010 global economic crisis. For the African airlines in specific, passenger traffic rose by 9.9% in the Q1, as capacity grew by 7.1 %. That led to a capital utilization marginal growth by 1.7% point to 64.3%.

The brighter global economic picture and lower air fares are keeping demand for travel strong,” said Juniac. “But as costs rise, this stimulus of lower fares is likely to fade, and uncertainties such as Brexit must be watched carefully.”

It is also important to note that the two biggest economies on the continent, Nigeria, and South Africa, have been diverging. For Nigeria, the level of business confidence has been on the increase sharply in the recent months. As for South Africa, although things were not looking pretty with the recession in the Q1 of this year, the airline freights haven’t taken too-big a hit.

Internationally, in the six months leading up to June 2017, the passengers numbers have risen by 7.8% compared to the same period last year. Much of this growth is also attributed to traffic to markets like Asia, America, and Europe.

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