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ME airlines' freight demand sees slight improvement

July 29, 2020
aviation

Middle Eastern airlines’ cargo demand declined 19.1 per cent year-on-year in June, an improvement from the 24.9 per cent fall in May, according to figures released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

International capacity decreased 25.8 per cent, the best of all regions. This was driven by the aggressive operational strategies of some of the region’s carriers, data showed.

All regions recorded declines in June. Airlines in Europe and Latin America suffered the sharpest drops in year-on-year growth in total air freight volumes, while airlines in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East experienced slightly less dramatic declines. Airlines in North America and Africa saw more moderate drops compared to the other regions.

Iata released data for global air freight markets in June showing improvement, but at a slower pace than some of the traditional leading indicators would suggest.

• Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell by 17.6 per cent in June (down 19.9 per cent for international operations) compared to the previous year. That is a modest improvement from the 20.1 per cent year-on-year drop recorded in May.

• Global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), shrank by 34.1 per cent in June (down 33.9 per cent for international operations) compared to the previous year. This was on par with the 34.8 per cent year-on-year drop in May.

• Belly capacity for international air cargo shrank by 70 per cent in June compared to the previous year due to the withdrawal of passenger services amid Covid-19. This was partially offset by a 32 per cent increase in capacity through expanded use of freighter aircraft.

• Global manufacturing demand stabilised in June:

- The new export orders component of the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose by 11 points compared to May, the strongest monthly increase since the series began in 1999.

- The PMI tracking global manufacturing output rebounded in June to its highest level since January.

“Cargo is, by far, healthier than the passenger markets but doing business remains exceptionally challenging. While economic activity is re-starting after major lockdown disruptions there has not been a major boost in demand. The rush to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to market has subsided as supply chains regularized, enabling shippers to use cheaper sea and rail options. And the capacity crunch continues because passenger operations are recovering very slowly,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata's Director General and CEO.

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