Decline in Airfreight volume marks a weak start to traditional peak air cargo season: IATA

Annual airfreight demand down by 3.5% in October on a Y-o-Y basis

The global air freight volumes witness year-on-year decline for the twelfth consecutive month, reveals the data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday.

According to the data, the global air freight demand measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), decreased by 3.5% in October 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. While freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 2.2% year-on-year in October 2019 outstripping demand growth for the 18th consecutive month. 

The US-China trade war, the deterioration in global trade and a broad-based slowing in economic growth have made the past year difficult for the air cargo sector.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said, “Air cargo’s peak season is off to a disappointing start, with demand down 3.5% in October. Demand is set to decline in 2019 overall – the weakest annual outcome since the global financial crisis. It has been a very tough year for the air cargo industry.”

Airlines in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East have suffered sharp declines in year-on-year growth while Africa remained the only region to record growth in air freight demand compared to October last year.

The US-China and South Korea-Japan trade war adversely affected the Asia-Pacific airlines. The region reported contract of 5.3% in demand for air freight and 0.6% increment in capacity in October 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.

Also, operational disruptions at Hong Kong International Airport – the largest cargo hub in the world – continues to impact activities of the region. However, the softening of US-China trade relations and robust economic growth in key regional economies are positive developments.

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