African Carriers Post Fastest Growth

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African carriers posted the fastest growth of any region in October 2019, with an increase in demand of 12.6 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier. Strong trade and investment links with Asia contributed to the positive performance. Freight volumes on key Africa-Asia routes were up 23 per cent annually in September (latest available data). Capacity grew 13.9 per cent year-on-year.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global airfreight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), decreased by 3.5 per cent in October 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This marks a weak start to the traditional peak season for air cargo and the twelfth consecutive month of year-on-year declines in freight volumes. Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (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 US 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.

Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes decreased 6.0 per cent in October 2019 compared to the year-ago period. This was the sharpest drop in freight demand of any region for the month. Capacity increased by 0.9 per cent.