Global air freight demand falls on trade tensions

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Global demand for air freight, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), fell 3.2 per cent year-on-year in July, the ninth consecutive month of declines in freight volumes according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), rose by 2.6 per cent year-on-year in July 2019. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for the ninth consecutive month, said the IATA.

Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO at the IATA, said of falling trade volumes between the USA and China: “Trade tensions are weighing heavily on the entire air cargo industry.

“Higher tariffs are disrupting not only transpacific supply chains but also worldwide trade lanes. While current tensions might yield short-term political gains, they could lead to long-term negative changes for consumers and the global economy,” he added.

European airlines posted a 2 per cent decrease in freight demand, and a 4.2 per cent increase in capacity, in July 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier. Weak manufacturing conditions for exporters in Germany and uncertainty over Brexit were cited as major concerns.

Demand in Asia-Pacific fell 4.9 per cent year-on-year; North American demand decreased 2.1 per cent and Middle Eastern demand fell 5.5 per cent.

Latin American demand increased  3 per cent while African demand increased 10.9 per cent.

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