The International Air Transport Association (IATA) published a new report for global air freight markets showing that demand (measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs)), plunged 4.7% in April on a YoY basis. The trend turned negative in January as YoY demand declined thanks to a synchronized global downturn and deepening trade war.
Air freight operators are expecting a further deterioration in global growth in 2H19. Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing dramatically flared up last month, and industry experts warned global trade volume is in free fall.
“If we see further deterioration and tariff increases, there will be further damage to world trade,” IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said on a conference call. “It will be a difficult year for world cargo.”
Freight capacity, measured in freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), expanded by 2.6% YoY in April. Capacity growth outpaced demand for the last four quarters. Air cargo volumes marginally increased during the Chinese New Year and Easter but have since turned down with volumes 3% below the August 2018 peak.