Global Air Freight Demand Down 1.1% in November
2019; APAC Down 3.7%
IATA's November 2019 data for global air freight
markets shows that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers
(FTKs), decreased by 1.1% when compared to the same month in 2018.
This marks the thirteenth consecutive month of year-on-year
declines in freight volumes.
Despite the decline in demand, November’s
performance was the best in eight months, with the slowest
year-on-year rate of contraction recorded since March 2019.
part, November’s outcome reflects the growing importance of large
e-commerce events such as Singles Day in Asia and Black Friday in
While international e-commerce continues to grow, overall
air cargo demand continues to face headwinds from the effects of
the trade war between the US and China, the deterioration in world
trade, and a broad-based slowing in global economic growth.
“Demand for air cargo in November was down 1.1% compared to
the previous year. That’s better than the 3.5% decline posted in
October. But 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,”
said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers
(AFTKs), rose by 2.9% year-on-year in November 2019. Capacity
growth has now outstripped demand growth for 19 consecutive
Airlines in Asia-Pacific, Latin
America and the Middle East suffered sharp declines in
year-on-year growth in total air freight volumes in November 2019,
while North American carriers experienced a more moderate decline.
Europe and Africa were the only regions to record growth in air
freight demand compared to November 2018.
airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 3.7% in November
2019, compared to the year-earlier period. This was the sharpest
drop in freight demand of any region for the month. Capacity
increased by 1.8%. The US-China trade war has significantly
affected the region, with demand on the large Asia-North America
market down 6.5% year-on-year in October (latest available data).
However, the thawing of US-China trade relations and robust
economic growth in key regional economies are positive
North American airlines saw demand decrease by
1.1% in November 2019, compared to the same period a year earlier.
Capacity increased by 3.3%. Slower growth in the US economy and
trade tensions with China have affected demand. However, positive
progress in trade negotiations between both countries highlighted
by the ‘phase one’ deal is a positive development.
airlines posted a 2.6% increase in freight demand in November 2019
compared to the same period a year earlier. Better than expected
economic activity in the third quarter in some of the region’s
large economies helped support demand. Capacity increased by 4.0%
Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes
decreased 3.0% in November 2019 compared to the year-ago period –
a significant improvement over the 5.7% decrease in October.
Capacity increased by 2.6%. Against a backdrop of operational and
geopolitical challenges facing some of the region’s key airlines,
seasonally-adjusted freight volumes in the region have continued a
modest upwards trend, which is a positive development for the
region’s carriers. However, escalating geopolitical tensions
threaten the regions’ carriers in the period ahead.
American airlines experienced a decrease in freight demand in
November 2019 of 3.4% compared to November 2018. Various social
and economic headwinds in the region’s key economies have impacted
the region’s air cargo performance. Capacity decreased by 2.3%
African carriers posted the fastest growth of
any region in November 2019, with an increase in demand of 19.8%
compared to the same period a year earlier. Strong trade and
investment links with Asia contributed to the positive
performance. Capacity grew 13.7% year-on-year.
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