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Air freight volumes still decreasing, says IATA

Posted on Thursday, January 9th by

The statistics released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), regarding the global air freight markets show that it was a decrease of 1.1 per cent in November 2019, compared with November 2018. This statistic shows the thirteenth consecutive month of year-on-year declines in freight volumes. The freight capacity, measured in AFTKs (available freight tonne-kilometres) has risen by  2.9 per cent year-on-year in November 2019. Capacity growth has now exceeded the demand growth for 19 consecutive months.

Even if the statistics show the continued decrease, International Air Transport Association points-out that November's performance was the best in the past 8 months, as the rate of decline is marked as the slowest since March 2019. Very important e-commerce events, such as Singles Day in Asia and Black Friday, contributed to November's growing outcomes.

Even if international e-commerce is in full swing, the consequences of the trade war between China and the USA affects air cargo and slows the global economic development, according to the trade association. 

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, declares: “Demand for air cargo in November was down 1.1 per cent compared to the previous year. Though it is better than the 3.5 per cent decline posted in October, it is a big disappointment considering that the fourth quarter is usually air cargo’s peak season. Looking forward, signs of a thawing in US-China trade tensions are good news. But trading conditions at present remain very challenging.”

If the airlines in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific have noticed a huge decrease in air freight volumes in November 2019, the carriers in North America experienced a more moderate decline. Only Africa and Europe have recorded a growth in air freight demands compared to November 2018.

Europe's economic activity has increased by 4.0 per cent year-on-year, as the European airlines have noticed a 2.6 per cent increase in freight demand in November 2019 compared to the same period in November 2018.

The trade and investments relations with Asia helped Africa to get the fastest growth, with an increase of 19.8 per cent compared with last year. 

Regarding Asia-Pacific airlines, the demand for air freight has dropped by 3.7 per cent in November compared to November 2018, and this led to capacity increase by 1.8 per cent. This fact can be seen as a consequence of the US-China trade war. 

North American airlines noticed a decrease of 1.1 per cent during November, compared to the same period a year earlier, which increased capacity by 3.3 per cent. However, due to ‘phase one’ deal with China, it is expected that we’ll see positive progress in trade negotiations.

Even if Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes are facing a 3.0 per cent decrease during the month, reported to November 2018, there is still an improvement over the 5.7 per cent in comparison with October. 

Latin American airlines also experienced a decrease in freight demand in November 2019 of 3.4 per cent compared to November 2018. The reason behind is social and economic challenges that have affected the region’s air cargo performance.

Source: Freight-Online

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