Air freight demand fall ‘deeply concerning’

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Demand for global air freight, measured in freight tonne kms, fell 3.9 per cent year-on-year in August – the first time since the financial crisis of 2008 that demand has fallen for 10 consecutive months.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), freight capacity rose by 2 per cent in 2019, meaning capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for the 16th consecutive month.

The IATA said air cargo is facing major challenges from the trade war between the US and China, and that global trade volumes are 1 per cent lower than a year ago.

IATA director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said: “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 per cent. Not since the global financial crisis in 2008 has demand fallen for 10 consecutive months. This is deeply concerning.”

He added that with “no signs of a détente on trade” he expected the “tough business environment” for air cargo to continue.

By Michelle Mooney

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