Global air freight demand showing no signs of improvement: IATA’s latest report

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday reported global air freight decline for the straight 8th consecutive month. The data released by IATA showed that air freight demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), across the globe dipped by 4.8% in June 2019, corresponding to the same period last year.

The IATA projected that signs of a modest recovery in the previous month’s projections which appear to have been early with June 2019 figures spreading almost globally with an exception of Africa.

The growth in cargo capacity continues to be passive and the cargo load factors is falling continuously. As the global trade tensions escalate the trade growth is lagging majorly because US-China trade dispute is showing no signs of improvements.

“Global trade continues to suffer as trade tensions—particularly between the US and China—deepen. As a result, air cargo markets continue to contract. Nobody wins a trade war. Borders that are open to trade spread sustained prosperity. That’s what our political leaders must focus on,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Airlines in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East are the worst hit with the steepest decline in business in year-on-year growth of air freight volumes in June 2019. Only Africa reported growth in air cargo demand.

Asia Pacific airlines saw a fall in demand by 5.4% in June 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. The FTKs in the local Asian markets have shown a decrease of more than 10% in the past year while the air cargo capacity rose by 1.8% in the same period. This suggests that the global trade tensions may not be the sole reason behind the fall.

North American Airlines also showed depreciation of 4.6% while the cargo capacity increased by 1.9%. European airlines posted a decrease of 3.6%.

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