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GENEVA: April 02, 2019. IATA reports a 4.7 percent drop in airfreight demand in February, the fourth consecutive month of negative year-on-year results and the worst performance in the last three years.

The airline association cites continuing trade tensions prompted by Trump; a decline in global economic activity and consumer confidence and a continued fall in export orders since last September.

ABC Rickenbacher“Cargo is in the doldrums with smaller volumes being shipped over the last four months than a year ago. And with order books weakening, consumer confidence deteriorating and trade tensions hanging over the industry, it is difficult to see an early turnaround,” noted IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

“The industry is adapting to new markets for e-commerce and special cargo shipments. But the bigger challenge is trade is slowing. Governments need to realize the damage being done by protectionist measures. Nobody wins a trade war. We all do better when borders are open to people and to trade,” he continued.

The sentiment is echoed by airfreight analyst WorldACD that reports a 3.4 percent drop in February yield to US$1.79 per kilo compared to the same month last year as chargeable weight fell 11.3 percent.

Despite the fact that January and February 2019 were still better than the first two months of both 2016 and 2017, WorldACD said if Q1 2019 drops three percent, the long term trend “looks quite worrisome” following a rise of five percent in Q1 2018, three percent in Q2, one percent in Q3, minus one percent in Q4 and minus three percent in Q1 2019.

“At this moment in time, it seems harder and harder to achieve the 2.0-3.0 percent growth predicted for the full year 2019 by some of the industry players,” it added.

Pictured: A year after entering the Columbus, OH market AirBridgeCargo Airlines is expanding its scheduled B747 freighter operations at Rickenbacker International Airport to twice a week.

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