The Air Transport Association says systemwide air cargo tumbled 17% in December 2008, compared with year-earlier levels. Other regions saw even steeper declines, according to data from other industry groups: 21.4% in Europe and 29.2% in the Asia-Pacific region. Boeing Co. pegged December's drop at 24.2%, the biggest monthly decline since the company began keeping records. However, Boeing Commercial Airplane Co. President and CEO Scott Carson said cargo traffic will "return fairly rapidly" when the economy picks back up.
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