American carriers report more traffic declines with move into 4Q

Americas-based carriers Delta Air Lines and LATAM Cargo shrugged off the move into peak season with continued drops in traffic during October 2019, and in LATAM’s case, reported an even larger year-over-year (y-o-y) decline than that seen in September.

Taken on their own, the y-o-y declines mostly cap off an overall difficult year, but considering year-ago results, the first month of peak season traffic is even less positive. Late in 2018, the carriers also posted y-o-y declines, indicating that 2019 is the second year in a row of October declines for both carriers. In LATAM’s case, the carrier also reported a y-o-y decline for October 2017, suggesting that LATAM has yet to fully implement a successful growth strategy in the challenging markets in which it operates.

Turning to the individual carrier results:

Delta Cargo reported October cargo traffic down 8.1% y-o-y for the month, to about 257 million FTKs. Year-to-date (YTD), Delta’s cargo traffic is down by 8.9%. October traffic increased by about 4.8% from September with the start of peak season.

LATAM Cargo reported October cargo traffic down 7.7% y-o-y for October, to about 299 million FTKs. YTD, the carrier’s traffic is down by about 1.9%. Nevertheless, month-to-month growth from September of about 6.4% indicates LATAM has seen a bump in demand thanks to the move into peak season.

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Caryn Livingston

Caryn Livingston is Editor of the monthly magazine Air Cargo World and Deputy Editor of the company’s monthly newsletter, Cargo Facts, and its weekly e-mail publication Cargo Facts Update. Prior to joining Cargo Facts in 2017, Caryn worked as a journalist in Houston covering the oil and gas industry. She holds a BA in English from the University of Tulsa and an MA in Literature from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.