The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne-kilometres (FTKs) decreased by 3.5 per cent in October as compared to the same period in 2018.
This marks a weak start to the traditional peak season for air cargo and the 12th consecutive month of year-on-year declines in freight volumes.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs) rose by 2.2 per cent year-on-year in October 2019. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for the 18th consecutive month.
Over the past year, air cargo has suffered from the effects of the trade war between the United States and China, the deterioration in global trade and a broad-based slowing in economic growth.
"Air cargo's peak season is off to a disappointing start with demand down 3.5 per cent in October. Demand is set to decline in 2019 overall -- the weakest annual outcome since the global financial crisis. It has been a very tough year for the air cargo industry," said IATA's Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
Airlines in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East suffered sharp declines in year-on-year growth in total air freight volumes in October while Latin American and European carriers experienced a more moderate decline. Africa was the only region to record growth in air freight demand compared to October last year. Asia Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 5.3 per cent in October compared to the same period in 2018. Capacity increased by 0.6 per cent.
The US-China and South Korea-Japan trade wars have negatively affected the region. And the disruption to operations at Hong Kong International Airport -- the largest cargo hub in the world -- continues to impact activity.
However, the thawing of US-China trade relations and robust economic growth in key regional economies are positive developments, said IATA.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)