Air cargo volumes weaken further, outlook remains clouded

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), decreased by 4.8% in June 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This marks the eighth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in freight volumes.

Signs of a modest recovery in recent months appear to have been premature, with the June contraction broad-based across all regions with the exception of Africa. Capacity growth remains subdued and the cargo load factor continues to fall. Globally, trade growth is languishing, and business uncertainty is compounded by the latest tariff increases in the US-China trade dispute.

“Global trade continues to suffer as trade tensions—particularly between the US and China—deepen. As a result, air cargo markets continue to contract. Nobody wins a trade war. Borders that are open to trade spread sustained prosperity. That’s what our political leaders must focus on,” says Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

June 2019 (% year-on-year)

World share1

ftk Aftk fLF (%-pt)​2 FLF (level)​3

Total Market

100.0% -4.8% 2.6% -3.5​% 45.4%


1.7% 3.8% 16.6% ​-4.0% 32.4%

Asia Pacific

35.3% -5.4% 1.8% ​-4.0% ​52.2%


23.4​% -3.6% 2.8% ​-3.3% 49.8%

Latin America

2.7% ​-1.0% 4.6% -​1.9% ​33.7%

Middle East

​​13.3% -7.0% 2.7% ​-4.6% ​44.0%

North America

23.7% -4.6% 1.9% ​-2.6% 38.2​%

1- % of Industry FTKs in 2018          2- Year-on-year change in load factor          3- Load factor level


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