IATA: June Cargo demand picks up; Passenger Demand Losing Momentum

- Geneva, Switzerland.

CARGO

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight demand in June 2016 showing a rise in freight tonne kilometers (FTK) of 4.3% year-on-year. This was the fastest pace of growth in 14 months. Freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs) increased by 4.9% year-on-year, keeping yields under downward pressure. 

Freight demand increased year-on-year in June across all regions with the exception of Latin America which recorded a 9.8% decrease, compared to the same period last year. The Middle East and Europe posted the fastest demand growth in June with year-on-year increases of 8.0% and 5.1% respectively.

"June saw an improvement in demand for air freight. That’s good news. However, we cannot read too much into one month’s performance. Air cargo markets have been in the doldrums for several years during which there were several false starts on indications for improvement. We will continue watching developments closely, keeping in mind that the air freight business environment is fragile. Global economic growth remains sluggish, world trade volumes continue to trend downwards and the industry faces heightened uncertainty in the aftermath of the Brexit vote," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

June 2016
(% year-on-year)

World share¹

FTK

AFTK

FLF
(%-pt)²   

FLF
(level)³  

Total Market     

100.0%

4.3%       

4.9%

-0.3%      

43.1%

Africa

1.5%

0.4%         

19.9%

-5.0%

25.6%

Asia Pacific 

38.9%

3.5%

3.6%

0.0%

54.5%

Europe         

22.3%

5.1%

4.9%

0.1%

44.3%

Latin America             

2.8%

-9.8%

-2.6%

-2.7%

34.4%

Middle East             

14.0%

8.0%

8.7%

-0.3%

42.7%

North America       

20.5%

4.3%

4.0%

 0.1%

32.4%

¹% of industry FTKs in 2015   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level 

Regional Performance 

  • Asia-Pacific airlines reported a 3.5% increase in demand for air cargo in June compared to last year. Capacity expanded 3.6%. The Asia-Pacific air freight market has been improving in recent months, most notably the large ‘within Asia’ market. Nonetheless freight volumes from ‘emerging Asia’ continue to face headwinds from weak trade in the region and globally.
  • North American carriers saw freight volumes expand 4.3% in June 2016 compared to the same period last year. Capacity increased 4.0%. International freight volumes continue to suffer from the strength of the US dollar which has kept the US export market under pressure.
  • European airlines witnessed a 5.1% increase in freight volumes and a 4.9% increase in capacity in June 2016. The positive European performance corresponds with signs of an increase in export orders in Germany over the last few months. Seasonally adjusted freight results for Europe are now trending upwards.
  • Middle Eastern carriers posted the largest increase in freight volumes of all regions for the 16th consecutive month in June - 8.0% year on year. Capacity increased by 8.7%.  Although the leader in market growth, the Middle East’s international freight growth rate (6.5%) for the first six months of 2016 is less than half the 14.3% average growth for the same period in 2015.
  • Latin American airlines reported a decline in demand of 9.8% and a decrease in capacity of 2.6%. The region continues to be blighted by weak economic and political conditions, particularly in the region’s largest economy, Brazil.
  • African carriers recorded 0.4% freight growth in June 2016 compared to the same period last year. African airlines’ capacity surged by 19.9% year-on-year on the back of long-haul expansion, continuing the trend seen since December 2015. 

View June freight results (pdf)

PASSENGER

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic data for June showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 5.2% compared to the year-ago period. This was up slightly from the 4.8% increase recorded in May (revised). However, the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has moderated since January. June capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.6%, and load factor slipped 0.3 percentage points to 80.7%.

"The demand for travel continues to increase, but at a slower pace. The fragile and uncertain economic backdrop, political shocks and a wave of terrorist attacks are all contributing to a softer demand environment," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. 

June 2016
(% year-on-year)

World share¹

RPK

ASK

PLF
(%-pt)²         

PLF
(level)³  

Total Market

100.0%

5.2%

5.6%

-0.3%      

80.7%

Africa

2.2%

3.2%

5.9%

-1.7%

65.0%

Asia Pacific

31.5%

9.0%

7.2%

1.3%

79.1%

Europe

26.7%

2.0%

2.7%

-0.6%

82.9%

Latin America

5.4%

4.6%

1.9%

2.1%

80.8%

Middle East

9.4%

7.3%

14.4%

-4.6%

70.3%

North America

24.7%

4.3%

4.3%

0.0%

86.3%

   ¹% of industry RPKs in 2015   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level   

International Passenger Markets
     
June international passenger demand rose 5.0% compared to June 2015. All regions recorded growth, led by airlines in Latin America. Capacity climbed 6.4%, causing load factor to slide 1.1 percentage points to 79.4%.

  • Asia-Pacific airlines’ June traffic increased 8.2% compared to the year-ago period. However, most of the growth relates to the strong upward trend in traffic seen in the final months of 2015 and into 2016, with June demand barely higher than in February. This could be a natural pause, but possibly is also a sign of Asian passengers being put off travel by terrorism in Europe. Capacity rose 7.3% and load factor inched up 0.6 percentage points to 78.2%.
  • European carriers saw demand rise 2.1%, the smallest increase among regions, reflecting the negative impact of recent terrorism. While demand tends to recover reasonably quickly after such events, the repeated nature of the attacks may have a more lasting impact. Capacity climbed 3.4% and load factor slipped 1.1% percentage points to 83.3%.
  • Middle Eastern carriers posted a 7.5% traffic increase in June, which was well down on the double-digit growth recorded earlier in the year. In part this could be owing to the timing of Ramadan, which tends to depress traffic growth Capacity rose 14.3%, which caused load factor to dive 4.4 percentage points to 69.9%.
  • North American airlines’ demand rose 4.0% compared to June a year ago, which was well up on the 0.5% year-over-year growth recorded in May. Capacity climbed 4.7%, causing load factor to dip 0.6 percentage points to 84.3%, still the highest among regions.
  • Latin American airlines experienced an 8.8% rise in demand compared to the same month last year, suggesting that carriers there have flown out of the soft patch seen in the first quarter. Capacity increased by 5.2% and load factor rose 2.7 percentage points to 82.4%.
  • African airlines’ traffic climbed 4.7% in June, an indication that the strong upward trend in demand that began in the second half of 2015 has paused. Capacity rose 7.4%, with the result that load factor slipped 1.7 percentage points to 64.4%, lowest among regions.

Domestic Passenger Markets 
Demand for domestic travel climbed 5.7% in June compared to June 2015, while capacity increased 4.3%, causing load factor to rise 1.1 percentage points to 83.2%. All markets reported demand increases with the exception of Brazil.    

June 2016
(% year-on-year)

World share¹

RPK

ASK

PLF     
(%-pt)²     

PLF
(level)³  

Domestic

36.4%     

5.7%

4.3%    

1.1%      

83.2%

Australia

1.1%

2.8%

-3.6%

4.9%

79.4%

Brazil 

1.4%

-6.5%

-6.4%

-0.1%

77.7%

China P.R             

8.4%

11.3%

8.9%       

1.8%

82.2%             

Indian             

1.2%

23.3%

23.8%

-0.3%

82.6%

Japan             

1.2%

0.9%

-2.7%

2.4%

65.7%

Russia Fed.             

1.3%

0.7%

-4.0%

3.7%

80.2%

US

15.4%

4.5%

4.3%

0.2%

87.7%

¹% of industry RPKs in 2015   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level  *Note: the seven domestic passenger markets for which broken-down data are available account for 30% of global total RPKs and approximately 82% of total domestic RPKs        

  • India continued to lead all markets with a 23.3% rise in domestic traffic, propelled by strong growth in real consumer spending as well as by the fact that airlines are adding airport pairs and frequencies.
  • Australia’s airlines have operating fewer frequencies and down-gauging aircraft in recent months, contributing to a 3.6% decline in capacity. The result is that load factor surged 4.9 percentage points to 79.4% on a 2.8% increase in traffic,

The Bottom Line : “The latest figures show that aviation and aviation related tourism delivers $2.7 trillion in economic impact and supports some 62.7 million jobs worldwide. It is a powerful force for good in our world. It is too soon to know whether recent terrorist attacks will have a long-term negative influence on demand, nor what will be the impact of Brexit and the events in Turkey. But it is vital that governments recognize and support aviation’s ability to contribute to global economic well-being and better understanding across cultural and political borders,” said Tyler.

View June passenger results (pdf)

 

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IATA
Website
www.iata.org
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