Europe air cargo numbers rise in May

An ACI report released yesterday revealed that airfreight traffic across the European airport network grew by 2.8 percent in May. However, the fortunes of the EU airports were the extent of the good news, accounting for 3.8 percent of growth, while non-EU airports registered a 4.4 percent decline.

Across Europe, results were mixed. The largest increases in cargo traffic occurred at Rome, up 16.2 percent, London Gatwick, up 12.8 percent, and Paris CDG, which saw traffic rise by 11.5 percent. Frankfurt, on the other hand, recorded a 1.7 percent decline in demand to 167,513 tonnes.

Another dark patch was Turkey, which has been hit by souring relations with Russia, which is a major trade partner, not to mention a slew of terror attacks, the latest of which targeted its busiest airport. Istanbul Ataturk registered a 9.2 percent decline in cargo volume. But with relations on the mend, increased air traffic with Russia should translate into better numbers going forward.

With the implications of the Brexit vote are only starting to come into focus. ACI Europe remains cautious and slow to predict any immediate impacts. It’s director general, Olivier Jankovec, explained that, “We do not expect [the Brexit vote] to have a significant impact on overall European air traffic levels this summer.” However, looking farther into the future, he worried that, “the political instability and uncertainty it has created in the U.K. and beyond, is already hurting business confidence and might end up doing the same for consumer confidence – this could affect demand for air transport later in the year.”

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