Industry has high hopes for the summer as decline in demand continues

European air cargo traffic for December indicated a protracted market weakness as global trade uncertainty continued through to the end of 2019, reports New York’s Air Cargo World.

Air France-KLM’s December cargo traffic declined by 4.1 per cent year-on-year to 734 million freight tonne kilometres (FTKs). Air France saw a decline in traffic of 1.5 percent year-on-year to 343 million FTKs, while KLM reported a modest 6.3 percent decline to 391 million FTKs. For the entire year, the group’s total cargo traffic was down 2.2 percent year-on-year to 8.4 billion FTKs.

International Airlines Group (IAG) reported that group traffic dropped 7.8 percent year-on-year in December to 458 million FTKs. All IAG subsidiary carriers saw declines in cargo traffic for December. Year to date, IAG’s cargo traffic declined 2.4 per cent to 5.5 billion FTKs, compared to the same period the year prior.

Lufthansa experienced a decline of 3.6 percent year on year in its December traffic to 734 million FTKs. The carrier saw weaker demand for the Americas and Asia Pacific regions, which saw declines of 8.8 percent and two per cent, respectively. For 2019, Lufthansa reported a 2.1 percent decline in its overall traffic to 10.6 billion FTKs.

Turkish Cargo reported a six per cent year on year increase in cargo tonnage carried, to just over 137,000 tonnes. For the full year 2019, cargo volumes are up 9.2 percent year-on-year to more than 1.5 million tonnes.

In 2019, three of the four carriers reported declines. These figures continue to reflect the decline in demand tracked in 2019. Sources tell Air Cargo World they maintain conservative outlooks for the first half of 2020, but anticipate increased volumes to come by summer this year.