As the world’s big cargo carriers and handlers begin to report their August cargo results, there is little to cheer about.
When more data is available, we will publish our usual detailed monthly analysis, but from what we have seen so far we would not be surprised if IATA and WorldACD report a year-over-year decline in demand for airfreight in August when they eventually publish their worldwide summaries. In the meantime here are a few of the highlights — okay, mostly lowlights — from what we have seen so far:
- Mixed results in Asia: China Southern Airlines reported a very strong 17% y-o-y increase in cargo traffic in August, but competitor China Eastern Airlines reported a 12% drop. Hong Kong International Airport’s handle was down 1%, but Pactl, the biggest handler at Shanghai Pudong, saw a 4.9% gain. Across the strait, in Taiwan, China Airlines’ August cargo traffic was down 5%
- Mixed results in the Americas: LATAM and Delta Air Lines both reported big year-over-year declines in cargo traffic in August (13% and 14%, respectively), while United Airlines and American Airlines each reported modest gains (4% for both).
- Dismal results in Europe: Lufthansa Group (down 6%), Air France-KLM (down 9%), and IAG (down 5%) all continued to report declining demand for air freight. Likewise, the two major airports that have reported, Frankfurt (down 4%) and London Heathrow (down slightly), each saw their cargo handle decline year-over-year.
We have yet to hear from many of the major cargo carriers (Air China, Cathay Pacific, EVA, Singapore Airlines, and Turkish, for example) and airports (including Amsterdam Schiphol and Singapore Changi). We expect the usual strong growth at Air China and Turkish, but this will not likely be enough to lighten what appears to be a dark month.