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Air freight traffic slumped in Asia in May as high oil prices take the shine off global business and threatens to push the global airline industry further into the red. Air freight traffic slumped in Asia in May as high oil prices take the shine off global business and threatens to push the global airline industry further into the red.

“May cargo growth slipped into negative territory in Asia, North America, Latin America and Europe, following sluggish performance since the beginning of 2005,” Giovanni Bisignani, Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said recently.

“As a leading economic indicator, the slowdown in cargo traffic demonstrates that the high price of oil is slowing the global economy faster than expected.”

Freight traffic fell 2.7 percent in the Asia Pacific region in May, and by 1.6 percent for the industry as a whole. From January to May however, freight traffic grew 3.1 percent world over.

Though passenger traffic was a strong 8.87 percent, a downward trend is expected, Bisignani said, as declining economic activity works its way through the economy.

Industry losses are expected to shoot up, pushin