The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released global air freight data showing that demand measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) slowed in May with growth falling to 0.9% year-on-year.

African carriers saw freight growth in May 2016 of 0.3% compared to the same period last year. African airlines’ capacity increased by 22.2% year-on-year on the back of long-haul expansion continuing the trend seen since December 2015.

Yields remained pressured as freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs) increased by 4.9% year-on-year.

Freight demand decreased or flat lined in May across all regions with the exception of Europe and the Middle East. These regions recorded growth in air cargo volumes of 4.5% and 3.2%, respectively, in May, compared to the same period last year.

Broad weakness in world trade volumes, which have largely tracked sideways since the end of 2014, accounts for about 80% of air freight’s sluggish performance.

“Global trade has basically moved sideways since the end of 2014 taking air cargo with it. Hopes for a stronger 2016 are fading as economic and political uncertainty increases. Air cargo is vital to the global economy. But the business environment is extremely difficult and there are few signs of any immediate relief,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

May 2016 (% Year-on-Year) World ShareFTKAFTKFLF (%-PT) (2)FLF (Level) (3)
Total Market100.0%0.9%4.9%– 1.7%41.9%
Africa1.5%0.3%22.2%– 5.6%25.5%
Asia Pacific38.9%– 0.7%3.7%– 2.3%51.6%
Europe22.3%4.5%5.7%– 0.5%43.9%
Latin America2.8%– 9.7%– 7.0%– 1.0%35.3%
Middle East14.0%3.2%9.5%– 2.5%40.9%
North America20.5%– 0.2%3.2%– 1.1%31.8%


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