Global air freight volumes remain weak according to IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that demand in global air freight markets decreased by 3.4% in May 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This was a slight improvement on the 5.6% contraction in April.

IATA says air cargo demand has suffered from very weak global trade volumes and trade tensions between the US and China. This has contributed to declining new export orders. The indicator for new manufacturing export orders, part of the global Purchasing Managers Index, has indicated falling orders since September 2018.

“The impact of the US-China trade war on air freight volumes in May was clear. Year-on-year demand fell by 3.4%. It’s evidence of the economic damage that is done when barriers to trade are erected. Renewed efforts to ease the trade tensions coming on the sidelines of the G20 meeting are welcome. But even if those efforts are successful in the short-term, restoring business confidence and growing trade will take time. And we can expect the tough business environment for air cargo to continue,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Airlines in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East suffered sharp declines in year-on-year growth in total air freight volumes in May 2019, while North America and Europe experienced more moderate declines. Africa, and Latin America both recorded growth in air freight demand compared to May last year.

Source: IATA

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