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Aircraft and transport. IATA: freight volumes remain weak in May

Regional performance

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), 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.  

In seasonally-adjusted terms, the level of FTKs increased modestly for the third consecutive month, suggesting that the low point of this cycle may be behind, although the market remains weak.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 1.3% year-on-year in May 2019. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for the 13th consecutive month.

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 (PMI), has indicated falling orders since September 2018.

Regional Performance

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.

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