IATA’s global air freight
data for the month of June 2019 shows that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers
(FTKs), decreased by 4.8%, compared to the same
month last year.

This marks the eighth consecutive month of
year-on-year decline in freight volumes.

Signs of a modest
recovery in recent months appear to have been premature, with the
June contraction broad-based across all regions with the exception
of Africa. Capacity growth remains subdued and the cargo load
factor continues to fall. Globally, trade growth is languishing,
and business uncertainty is compounded by the latest tariff
increases in the US-China trade dispute.


UPS Boeing 747-8F reg: N607UP. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

“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.

Asia-Pacific airlines
saw demand for air freight contract by 5.4% in June 2019, compared
to the same period in 2018. Although an important factor, the
US-China trade war is not solely responsible for the fall. FTKs
for the within-Asia market have decreased more than 10% over the
past year. Air freight capacity increased by 1.8% over the same
period.

North American airlines’ freight demand
decreased by 4.6% in June 2019, compared to the same period a year
earlier. Capacity increased by 1.9% over the past year. US-China
trade tensions are weighing on the performance, with FTKs to Asia
down 5%. FTKs on routes to/from Europe, South America and Middle
East were also lower.

European airlines posted a 3.6%
decrease in freight demand in June 2019 compared to the same
period a year earlier. Comparatively strong cargo volumes within
Europe are helping to minimize the impact of weaker German
exports. Capacity increased by 2.8% year-on-year.

Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes decreased 7.0% in June
2019 compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased by 2.7%.
Seasonally-adjusted demand has been falling since late 2018, and
the latest data show volumes to Europe (-7.2%) and Asia-Pacific
(-6.5%) were particularly weak.

Latin American
airlines experienced a decrease in freight demand in June 2019 of
1.0% compared to the same period last year and capacity increased
by 4.6%. Much of the decline in traffic can be attributed to
weakness in the within-South America market (especially Brazil and
Argentina) where FTKs fell 6.5%.

African carriers
were the only ones to report growth in June 2019, with an increase
in demand of 3.8% compared to the same period a year earlier. This
makes Africa the strongest performer for the fourth consecutive
month. Capacity grew 16.6%. Route analysis shows that the
Africa-Asia performance is strong, up 12% year-on-year.

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