No positive outlook on 2020

As if ending the year with a sigh, European carriers’ mixed preliminary traffic results for November reflect the general market weakness seen over the course of 2019 due to global trade uncertainty. Air France-KLM, Lufthansa Group and International Airlines Group reported year-over-year declines in cargo traffic. Only Turkish Cargo reported volume growth for the month.

For the first 11 months of 2019, three of the four carriers tracked by Air Cargo World reported declines in y-o-y traffic results. These numbers are unsurprising. However, all carriers saw some reprieve through slight improvement in month-over-month traffic, likely supported by the season’s global shopping holidays. Word from sources to Air Cargo World suggests the first half of 2020 will remain bleak with better news for trade hoped for by summer next year.

Air France-KLM’s November cargo traffic declined by 3.4% y-o-y to 739 million freight tonne kilometers (FTKs). Air France saw a decline in traffic of 5.1% y-o-y to 328 million FTKs, while KLM reported a modest 2.0% decline to 411 million FTKs. For the first 11 months of the year, the group’s total cargo traffic was down 2.0% y-o-y to 7.7 billion FTKs.

International Airlines Group reported that group traffic dropped 5.3% y-o-y in November to 482 million FTKs. While Iberia accounts for a relatively small share of IAG’s overall cargo traffic, the carrier saw year-over-year growth of 4.9% in November. This was offset by a decline at British Airways, which reported November cargo traffic down 7.8% to 356 million FTKs. Year-to-date, IAG’s cargo traffic declined 1.9% to 5.1 billion FTKs, compared to the same period the year prior.

Lufthansa Group reported a decline of 1.8% y-o-y in its November traffic to 937 million FTKs. The carrier saw weaker demand for the Americas region, which saw declines of 2.4% y-o-y. Year-to-date, Lufthansa reported a 2.0% decline in its overall traffic to 9.8 billion FTKs.

Turkish Cargo reported a 10.3% y-o-y increase in cargo tonnage carried, to just over 144,000 tonnes. For the first 11 months of 2019, cargo volumes are up 9.3% y-o-y to more than 1.4 million tonnes.