Global air freight volumes fell 1.5 per cent in December 2018 compared to December a year earlier, firming up the 2018 year-end growth figure at 3.3 per cent, according to Airports Council International (ACI) World.
Nearly all regions posted declines in freight volumes in December, bringing year-on-year growth to -1.5 per cent during the month, says ACI. Africa bucked the trend, growing by 18.7 per cent for the period. No segment posted robust results, with the international market losing 1.7 per cent and the domestic market 1.0 per cent.
In line with the importance of domestic freight in its market, North America weathered the storm better than Europe and Asia-Pacific. The former declined by 1.2 per cent in December, against losses of 2.5 per cent for the two other regions.
Latin America-Caribbean and the Middle East declined by 0.8 and 0.9 per cent respectively. Though this marked a continuation of a challenging trend for the Middle East in 2018, it was a major shift for the former.
“While global passenger traffic growth has moderated and is not of the same magnitude as in 2017, it has remained fairly robust overall for most of 2018,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens said. “The decline in freight need also to be examined in the context of the increasing geopolitical instability and ongoing protectionism that has affected global traffic and trade.
“Industry performance in 2019 remains very uncertain as trade wars persist, the United Kingdom continues to work to exit the European Union, and relationships in key markets in the Middle East and China threaten to cast a pall on the global outlook.”