Airfreight demand slumps amid global trade tensions

Demand for global airfreight markets – measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) – decreased  by 4.7% in February 2019, compared to the same period in 2018, with the International Air Transport Association (Iata) placing much of the blame on ongoing global trade tensions.

Data released yesterday by Iata shows the fourth consecutive month of negative year-on-year growth and the worst performance in the last three years.

“Cargo is in the doldrums, with smaller volumes being shipped over the last four months than a year ago. And with order books weakening, consumer confidence deteriorating and trade tensions hanging over the industry, it is difficult to see an early turnaround,” said Iata’s director-general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

He added that governments needed to realise the damage they were doing in implementing protectionist measures. “Nobody wins a trade war. We all do better when borders are open to people and to trade.”


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