While the mix of carriers in the top-five bracket remained the same in 2019, the order in which they are ranked looks very different compared to a year ago, thanks to changes to their freighter fleets.
In our list of Top 25 Carriers by total FTKs, the top five leaders collectively added a net of twenty-three freighters in 2019.
The market itself was sluggish, with traffic growth prospects dimmed by the prolonged U.S.-China trade war and the general slowdown in global trade. Industrywide traffic dropped by 3.3% year over year in 2019, according to IATA. Carriers that managed to boost their traffic did so by winning business away from their competitors.
UPS saw the highest YoY increase in FTKs among the top five, at 3.1%, and climbed one rank to the third position. UPS also had the largest freighter fleet growth of any carrier in the top twenty-five, with the addition of six 747-8Fs, five 767-300Fs, one 767-300BCF, and two 767-300BDSFs during the year.
For FedEx, which is again the top-ranked carrier by overall FTKs, traffic remained virtually unchanged at 17.6 billion FTKs, despite adding a net of ten freighters.
Although still clinging to a spot in the top five, Emirates fell from the No. 2 position it had long held, registering a 7.8% decrease in FTKs. Emirates is also no longer the top international cargo carrier — a position it had maintained since 2013 — and last year was ousted by Doha-based Qatar Airways.
|2019 Rank||Carrier group||2018 Rank||2019 International (FTKs million)||2019 Domestic (FTKs million)||2019 total (FTKs million)||2018 total (FTKs million)||YoY change (FTKs million)||YoY change (%)||Net freighter changes|
|12||China Southern Airlines||12||5,484.00||1,376.00||6,860||6,847.00||13||0.19||0|
|16||China Eastern Airlines||18||4,603.00||921.00||5,524||5,175.00||349||6.75||0|
|20||All Nippon Airways||20||3,922.00||468.00||4,390||4,755.00||-364||-7.66||0|
To continue reading this feature, please go to Page 12 of our August 2020 issue.