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            january 20, 2020

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Global airfreight market set for rebound in 2020


The International Air Transport Association's (IATA) latest air freight market analysis for November 2019 shows that industry-wide freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) dipped by 1.1 per cent year on year for a 13th straight month of volume declines.
However, November's performance was also the best in eight months, because it showed the slowest year-on-year rate of contraction since March 2019, London's Air Cargo News reported.
IATA suggested that the slowdown in decrease in November could have been due to massive e-commerce events, such as Single's Day in Asia and Black Friday, which both took place that month.
IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac believes the peak season was hindered by factors such as the US-China trade war. "That's better than the 3.5 per cent decline posted in October, but it is a big disappointment considering that the fourth quarter is usually air cargo's peak season.
"Looking forward, signs of a thawing in US-China trade tensions are good news, but trading conditions at present remain very challenging."
Regionally, in November airlines based in Africa displayed the fastest growth out of all the regions, with a 19.8 per cent year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity for Africa-based airlines expanded 13.7 per cent year on year. The region's strong performance is likely due to strong trade and investment links with Asia as a result of the trade war, IATA said.
In November, Europe-based airlines recorded a 2.6 per cent year-on-year increase in airfreight demand.
Capacity for Europe-based airlines grew by four per cent year on year. IATA suggested that better-than-expected economic activity in the third quarter of last year, in some of the region's large economies, helped to support demand.
North American carriers experienced a 1.1 per cent decline in demand in November year on year, and capacity went up by 3.3 per cent.
Airlines from the Latin America region suffered a year-on-year drop of 3.4 per cent in freight demand. Airfreight capacity for the region in November also fell by 2.3 per cent.
The Middle East region's airlines experienced a three per cent year-on-year decline in November 2019. This figure was down from the 5.7 per cent year-on-year drop in October 2019. Airfreight capacity in the region expanded by 2.6 per cent.
Asia Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight fall by 3.7 per cent in November and capacity increased by 1.8 per cent. The Asia Pacific's decline in airfreight demand in November was the sharpest of all of the regions and it highlights the impact of the US-China trade war.
Overall, pressures on global declining volumes appear to be easing, setting up the path for more positive performances in 2020.

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