December cargo throughput results for the world’s airport are still trickling in, but early analysis indicates an overall diminished peak season for air freight. With only a couple of exceptions in Europe and Asia, volumes and traffic across most airports posted year-over-year declines in volume for December, and declines or very modest growth overall for 2018, underperforming overall expectations of 4-5% annual growth in air freight traffic. The uncertain global trade environment, volatile economic performance across multiple markets, and the upcoming Brexit are likely contributing to the weakness in air cargo figures during the second half of 2018. Whether these trends will continue into 2019 remains to be seen, but considering the continued impasse in negotiations between the US and China, as well as the ongoing government shutdown in the US that it is beginning to affect aviation across the country, and Britain’s vote against a Brexit plan today, as reported on our sister sites Cargo Facts and Air Cargo World, we will not be surprised to see year-over-year comparisons continue to lag in the near-term.
To look more closely at December performance for some of the world’s largest cargo airports:
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) reported its December cargo handle down 5.5% y-o-y to 448,000 tonnes. Year-to-date, HKG’s handle was up 1.5%. HKG attributed the decline in cargo traffic to global economic uncertainty with traffic to and from Europe and South Asia declining most significantly during December.
For more in-depth analysis, read the full story on our new Royal Media publication, Air Cargo Airports:
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