Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Passenger markets show signs of strain, freight decline continues into Aug

The global air passenger market benefitted from a small uptick in August year-on-year but its resilience is starting to fray, while the air freight industry continues to be in decline for nearly a year now, according to Airports Council International (ACI) World.

Global passenger traffic grew by a moderate 2.5% in August year-over-year, up slightly from July’s 2.3 growth. Year-to-date growth is 3.2%.

The freight industry fell by 5% in August year-over-year. The year-to-date figure is now negative 2.9%, marking a 10th consecutive month of contraction.

“The industry’s overall growth has continued to suffer from downward pressure since the start of the year,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens said. “Though the passenger market remained resilient to the downtrend for the first half of the year, it is starting to show the strains caused by the challenging global context.”

In the passenger segment, the international market gained 3.6% during the month and expanded 4.5% year-to-date. The domestic market grew just 1.4% for August, and 2.1% since the start of the year.

By region, Asia-Pacific grew by 1.6% in August, down from 2.4% in July. The region’s year-to-date growth reached 1.8% at the end of the month, its lowest August results since 2009. The international segment has grown a more robust 4.3% since the start of the year, but its domestic market remains subdued, now standing at +0.4% year-to-date.

Europe gained 2.9% year-over-year and accelerated 3.8% year-to-date.

North America gained 2.4% during the month and has grown by 3.4% since the start of the year, mostly on the strength of its domestic market, now showing signs of weakness.

Africa grew 6.6% year-over-year in August and its year-to-date growth has reached 7.1%. Latin America-Caribbean’s passenger market is up 4.2% year-to-date and grew 2.8% during the month, with its domestic segment (+3.1%) outperforming its international market (+2.3%) slightly.

The Middle East in August grew by 1.7%. Its year-to-date growth reached +2.0%.

On the other hand the domestic air freight market, which had remained relatively robust in recent months, lost 1.3% in August, down from July’s 3.3% growth. Year-to-date results reached 0.9%, with a fairly negative outlook for the rest of the year due to slowing manufacturing output.

The international freight market continued its decline during the month, falling by 6.6% year-over-year. Year-to-date stood at negative 4.6% for the first eight months of the year.

Asia-Pacific continued its decline, falling by a substantial 6.8% during the month. The region’s air freight industry, which has suffered the brunt of the disruption in supply chains caused by the trade war between the U.S. and China, is now also affected by a trade and diplomatic spat between Japan and South Korea. Its year-to-date growth now stands at negative 5.9%.

North America fell by 3.2% in August, the region’s largest loss since February 2013 and was driven mostly by a sudden downtrend in its domestic market. International freight has remained negative in prior months (year-to-date stood at negative 4.6% by the end of August).

Europe fell by 3.7% in August, bringing year-to-date growth to negative 2.9%.

Latin America-Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa all posted declines of more than 5% in August, at negative 5.2%, 5.9% and 10.3%, respectively. The latter saw its year-to-date results fall to +0.7% during the period. Latin America-Caribbean contracted 2.2% for the same time frame, and the Middle East followed with a 3% decline.

Looking ahead, ACI said, “With an ongoing economic slowdown and trade wars still prevalent, the outlook for the industry in 2019 remains challenging.”

Photo By Jnanaranjan sahu

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