Global air freight volumes dropped for the eight month by 4.8 per cent last June, creating fear and anxiety among several European, Asian, and American investors in airline cargo business.
Data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) yesterday showed African carriers as the only ones to report growth in cargo business in June 2019, with an increase in demand of 3.8 per cent when compared with the same period a year earlier. This makes Africa the strongest performer for the fourth consecutive month in 2019.
“Global air freight markets show that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), decreased by 4.8 per cent in June 2019, compared to the same period in 2018 and this marks the eighth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in freight volumes,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Mr. Alexandre de Juniac.
“Global trade continues to suffer as trade tensions—particularly between the US and China—deepen. As a result, air cargo markets continue to contract. 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,” he added.
The IATA data indicated that last June, European airlines posted a 3.6 per cent decrease in freight demand, while Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes decreased by 7.0 per cent, North American airlines’ freight demand decreased by 4.6 per cent, just as Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 5.4 per cent in June 2019.
IATA represents some 290 airlines doing commercial passenger and cargo business globally, and these account for 82 per cent of global air traffic.
Alexandre de Juniac, the IATA boss, explained that globally, trade growth is languishing, and business uncertainty is compounded by the latest tariff increases in the US-China trade dispute.
“Nobody wins a trade war. Borders that are open to trade spread sustained prosperity. That’s what our political leaders must focus on,” added de Juniac.