The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), decreased 4.7% in February 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This was the fourth consecutive month of negative year-on-year growth and the worst performance in the last three years.
Specifically, African carriers saw freight demand decrease by 8.5% in February 2019, compared to the same month in 2018. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are lower than their peak in mid-2017; despite this, they are still 25% higher than their most recent trough in late-2015. Capacity grew 6.8% year-on-year.
Mr. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, says: “Cargo is in the doldrums with smaller volumes being shipped over the last four months than a year ago. And with order books weakening, consumer confidence deteriorating and trade tensions hanging over the industry, it is difficult to see an early turnaround. The industry is adapting to new markets for e-commerce and special cargo shipments. But the bigger challenge is trade is slowing. Governments need to realize the damage being done by protectionist measures. Nobody wins a trade war. We all do better when borders are open to people and to trade,”