Latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show that global air freight demand fell 4.8% in June compared to the year previous.
Demand—measured in freight tonne kilometers—suffered the eighth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in cargo figures.
Trade tensions, most notably between the US and China, continue to have a significant detrimental effect on air freight.
Nobody wins a trade war. Borders that are open to trade spread sustained prosperity
IATA said that “signs of a modest recovery in recent months appear to have been premature” as all regions except Africa saw a decrease in trade by air.
Capacity—measured in available freight tonne kilometers—grew 2.6% in June compared to 2018, but IATA said it remains “subdued” as load factor also fell.
“Global trade continues to suffer as trade tensions—particularly between the US and China—deepen. As a result, air cargo markets continue to contract,” said IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
“Nobody wins a trade war. Borders that are open to trade spread sustained prosperity. That’s what our political leaders must focus on.”
Asia-Pacific and the Middle East were hit hardest by the decline in year-on-year growth of total air cargo volumes.
See the breakdown by region below:
- Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 5.4% in June 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. 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.
- European airlines posted a 3.6% decrease in freight demand in June 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier. 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%.
- 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%.
- 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. Capacity grew 16.6%.