December 2019 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis
Air freight volumes down 3.3% in 2019; 1st decline since 2012


  • Industry-wide freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) contracted by 3.3% in 2019. This is the first year of declining freight volumes since 2012 and the weakest outcome since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2009.
  • International trade tensions resulted in only weak growth in global goods trade (+0.9%) in 2019 and were a key factor behind the decline in air freight volumes.
  • Available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs) increased by a moderate 2.1% in 2019, leading to a 2.6 percentage point fall in the load factor.
  • International FTKs contracted in all regions except Africa in 2019.

Africa delivers the strongest growth in 2019
International freight volumes for African carriers grew by a robust 7.7% in 2019, stepping up from -0.1% in 2018. In year-on-year terms to December, Africa recorded a brisk double-digit growth rate of 10.7%. Over the year, air cargo volumes have been supported by strong capacity growth and investment linkages with Asia.

Freight volumes end the year on a weak note…

In December, industry-wide freight tonnes kilometres contracted by 2.7% year-on-year. However, looking through the regular monthly volatility, the seasonally adjusted (SA) freight volume data has confirmed the modest upward trend noted previously...Download the full document here. 

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