Air freight demand in weak start to 2019: IATA

March 7, 2019

GENEVA - International Air Transport Association (IATA) data for global air freight markets shows demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), decreasing by 1.8% in January compared to the same month of 2018. It was the worst performance in  three years. 

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), rose 4.0% on-year in January - the 11th consecutive month in which capacity growth outstripped demand growth. 

IATA said demand for air cargo continues to face significant headwinds, with global economic activity and consumer confidence having weakened. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for manufacturing and export orders has indicated falling global export orders since September 2018. 

"Air cargo markets contracted in January in a worsening of a weakening trend that started in mid-2018, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO. "Unless protectionist measures and trade tensions diminish, there is little prospect of a quick re-bound."

In Asia-Pacific, freight tonne kilometres fell by 3.6% in January. Only two of six regions reported year-on-year demand growth in January 2019 - North America and Africa. (ATI).