July 07, 2016: Air freight demand measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) slowed in May with growth falling to 0.9 percent year-on-year, says International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Yields remained pressured as freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs) increased by 4.9 percent year-on-year.
Freight demand decreased or flat lined in May across all regions with the exception of Europe and the Middle East. These regions recorded growth in air cargo volumes of 4.5 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, in May, compared to the same period last year.
Broad weakness in world trade volumes, which have largely tracked sideways since the end of 2014, accounts for about 80 percent of air freight’s sluggish performance.
"Global trade has basically moved sideways since the end of 2014 taking air cargo with it. Hopes for a stronger 2016 are fading as economic and political uncertainty increases. Air cargo is vital to the global economy. But the business environment is extremely difficult and there are few signs of any immediate relief," said Tony Tyler, director general and CEO, IATA.
Asia-Pacific airlines reported a 0.7 percent decrease in demand for air cargo in May compared to last year while North American carriers see 0.2 percent decline.
European airlines witnessed a 4.5 percent increase in freight volumes due to an increase in export orders in Germany over the last few months.
Middle Eastern carriers saw demand expand by 3.2 percent and capacity rise 9.5 percent in May 2016 compared to the same period last year.
Latin American airlines reported a decline in demand of 9.7 percent and a decrease in capacity of 7 percent, as economic conditions continued to worsen in Latin America, particularly in the region’s largest economy, Brazil.
African carriers saw freight growth in May 2016 of 0.3 percent compared to the same period last year.