Netherlands-based air freight analyst WorldACD noted that once the first two months of the year were combined to account for the effects of Chinese New Year, the Asia Pacific region saw the largest decline in demand. Asia outbound volume fell a combined 6.8 per cent year over year in January and February, while imports of air cargo slipped 6.1 per cent.
IATA’s figures also show Asia Pacific airlines being hit hard in February, with demand for air freight contracting 11.6 per cent from the same month a year ago. The association attributed the drop to weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters in the region, ongoing trade tensions between the US and China, and a slowing of the Chinese economy.
It is worth noting, however, that although January-February volume was weak across most of the major trades compared with last year, the two-month performance in 2019 was still better than the same period in both 2016 and 2017.