Global air freight demand increases by 3.5% in 2018

Published on : Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The demand for global air freight markets, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), grew by 3.5% in 2018 as compared to 2017, as per International Air Transport Association (IATA) data. This was significantly lower than the extraordinary 9.7% growth recorded in 2017.

 

Outpacing annual growth in demand, freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 5.4% in 2018. This exerted downward pressure on the load factor but yields proved resilient.

 

Air cargo’s performance in 2018 was sealed by a softening in demand in December. Year-on-year, December demand decreased by 0.5%. This was the worst performance since March 2016. Freight capacity, however, grew by 3.8%. This was the tenth month in a row that year-on-year capacity growth outstripped demand growth.

 

“Air cargo demand lost momentum towards the end of 2018 in the face of weakening global trade, sagging consumer confidence and geopolitical headwinds. Still, demand grew by 3.5% compared to 2017. We are cautiously optimistic that demand will grow in the region of 3.7% in 2019,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

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