Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Air freight demand in Feb lowest in past 3 years—IATA

Global air freight demand decreased 4.7% in February 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, the fourth consecutive month of negative year-on-year growth and the worst performance in the last three years, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Freight capacity rose by 2.7% year-on-year in February 2019. This was the 12th month in a row that capacity growth outstripped demand growth.

Demand for air cargo continues to face significant headwinds, including trade tensions, weakened global economic activity and consumer confidence, and falling global export orders since September 2018, IATA said.

“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,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

All regions reported a contraction in year-on-year demand growth in February 2019 except for Latin America.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 11.6% in February 2019 year-on-year. Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters in the region, ongoing trade tensions and a slowing of the Chinese economy impacted the market.

North American airlines saw demand contract by 0.7% in February 2019 year-on-year. This was the first month of negative year-on-year growth recorded since mid-2016, reflecting the sharp fall in trade with China.

European airlines experienced a contraction in freight demand of 1.0% in February 2019 compared to a year ago. The decline is consistent with weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters in Germany, one of Europe’s major economies. Trade tensions and uncertainty over Brexit also contributed to a weakening in demand.

Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes contracted 1.6% in February 2019 compared to the year-ago period. A clear downward trend in seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand is now evident with weakening trade to/from North America contributing to the decrease.

Latin American airlines posted the fastest growth of any region in February 2019 versus last year with demand up 2.8%. Despite the economic uncertainty in the region, a number of key markets are performing strongly.

African carriers saw freight demand decrease by 8.5% in February 2019 compared to the same month in 2018.

Photo: WikimediaImages

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