IATA's latest data for global air freight
markets shows that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers
(FTKs), rose 3.1% in October 2018, compared to the same month the
This pace of growth was up from a 29-month
low of 2.5% in September.
Freight capacity, measured in available
freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 5.4% year-on-year in
October 2018. This was the eighth month in a row that capacity
growth outstripped demand.
Growing international e-commerce and an upturn
in the global investment cycle are supporting the growth. However,
demand continues to be negatively impacted by:
contraction in export order books in all major exporting nations
- Longer supplier delivery times in Asia and
- Weakened consumer confidence compared to very high
levels at the beginning of 2018.
“Cargo is a tough
business, but we can be cautiously optimistic as we approach the
end of 2018,” said Alexandre de
Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO. “Slow but steady growth continues despite trade
tensions. The growth of e-commerce is more than making up for
sluggishness in more traditional markets. And yields are
strengthening in the traditionally busy fourth quarter. We must be
conscious of the economic headwinds, but the industry looks set to
bring the year to a close on a positive note.”
All regions reported year-on-year demand growth
in October 2018, except Africa which contracted.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight grow by 1.9% in
October 2018, compared to the same period last year. This pace of
growth was relatively unchanged from the previous month. Weaker
manufacturing conditions for exporters, and longer supplier
delivery times particularly in China and Korea impacted the
demand. As the largest freight-flying region, carrying more than
one-third of the total, the risks from rising trade tensions are
disproportionately high. Capacity increased by 4.2%.
American airlines posted the fastest growth of any region in
October 2018, with an increase in demand of 6.6% compared to the
same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 8.2% over the
same period. The strength of the US economy and consumer spending
have helped support the demand for air cargo over the past year,
benefiting US carriers.
European airlines experienced a 1.4%
increase in freight demand in October 2018 compared to the same
period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 1.9% year-on-year.
Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters, and longer supplier
delivery times particularly in Germany, Europe’s largest freight
flying country, impacted demand. Seasonally-adjusted international
air cargo demand remained deflated in October, which could
indicate the start of a broader weakening in demand.
Eastern airlines’ freight volumes expanded 5.0% in October 2018
compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by
8.8% over the same period. There are signs of a pick-up in
seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand helped by more
trade to/from Europe and Asia.
Latin American airlines’
freight demand rose 0.3% in October 2018 compared to the same
period last year and capacity increased by 3.3%. International
demand slipped by 0.9%, marking the first contraction in 11months.
International freight volumes have fallen month-on-month in four
of the past five months, reflecting broad weakness in the region’s
African carriers saw freight demand decrease by
4.2% in October 2018, compared to the same month last year. This
was the seventh time in eight months that demand shrank. Capacity
increased by 5.4% year-on-year. Demand conditions on all key
markets to and from Africa remain weak. Nonetheless,
seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes have stopped
declining and recovered sharply in recent months.