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IATA: African airlines show positive growth in air cargo traffic

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released its data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne-kilometres (FTKs), decreased by 4.5% in September 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This marks the eleventh consecutive month of year-on-year decline in freight volumes, the longest period since the global financial crisis in 2008.

Eric Gevaert via
Eric Gevaert via 123RF

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), rose by 2.1% year-on-year in September 2019. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for the 17th consecutive month.

Air cargo continues to suffer from:

• The intensifying trade war between the US and China, and South Korea and Japan,

• The deterioration in global trade,

• And weakness in some of the key economic drivers.

Global export orders continue to fall. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) tracking new manufacturing export orders has pointed to falling orders since September 2018.

"The US-China trade war continues to take its toll on the air cargo industry. October’s pause on tariff hikes between Washington and Beijing is good news. But trillions of dollars of trade is already affected, which helped fuel September’s 4.5% year-on-year fall in demand. And we can expect the tough business environment for air cargo to continue," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO.

<>Regional performance

Airlines in Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and the Middle East suffered sharp declines in year-on-year growth in total air freight volumes in September 2019, while Latin America carriers experienced a more moderate decline. Africa was the only region to record growth in air freight demand compared to September last year.

Asia-Pacific airlines

North American airlines

European airlines

Middle Eastern airlines

Latin American airlines

African carriers posted the fastest growth of any region in September 2019, with an increase in demand of 2.2% compared to the same period a year earlier. This was a significant slowdown in growth from the 8% recorded in August. Strong trade and investment linkages with Asia and robust economic performance in some key regional economies contributed to the positive performance. Capacity grew 9.4% year-on-year.


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