October 9, 2019
Global air freight hit by a tenth consecutive monthly drop
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that demand in global air freight markets contracted by 3.9% in August 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This marks the tenth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in freight volumes, the longest period since the global financial crisis in 2008.
According to IATA, air cargo continues to face strong headwinds from the intensifying trade war between the US and China, as well as weakness in some of the key economic indicators and rising political uncertainties worldwide. Global trade volumes are 1% lower than a year ago.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 5% in August 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. North American airlines saw demand decrease by 2.4% and European airlines posted a 3.3% decrease in their freight demand. Middle Eastern airlines' freight volumes decreased 6.7%. Latin American airlines experienced an increase in freight demand in August 2019 of 0.1% compared to the same period last year. African carriers posted the fastest growth of any region in August 2019, with an increase in demand of 8% compared to the same period a year earlier.
"The impact of the US-China trade war on air freight volumes was the clearest yet in August. Year-on-year demand fell by 3.9%. Not since the global financial crisis in 2008 has demand fallen for 10 consecutive months. This is deeply concerning. And with no signs of a détente on trade, we can expect the tough business environment for air cargo to continue. Trade generates prosperity. Trade wars don't. That's something governments should not forget," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.