Airport volumes slump in June gloom 

Preliminary results for June airport volumes worldwide are out, indicating continued market weakness across the globe, though this come as no surprise given continued tensions between China and the U.S. and looming Brexit concerns. Many leaders in air cargo are maintaining conservative outlooks on volumes for the rest of 2019 due to this sustained market volatility.  

All regions posted declines in volumes for June. Despite mixed traffic reports European carriers released for June, European airports still saw significant declines in volumes. Meanwhile, declines Asian carriers reported likely impacted airports in the region. Ultimately airports in Asia were hit harder by declines in international cargo volumes than North American airports.   

Now onto June airport traffic on a regional basis:     


Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) reported its June cargo throughput decreased 2.8% y-o-y to 151,632 tonnes. Decreases in both imports and exports contributed to this decline. For the full year, CAN’s cargo handle increased 1.2% y-o-y to 905,693 tonnes.   

Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) reported its total cargo handle at about 228,284 tonnes for June, down 6.4% from its June 2018 reported volumes. Year-to-date traffic is down 7.0% compared to the first half of 2018, at 1.3 million tonnes 

Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)’s Pactl reported a June cargo handle of about 144,450 tonnes, marking a y-o-y decline of 11.0%, thanks to an 11.7% decrease in its international cargo handle. Year-to-date, Pactl’s cargo throughput fell 10.5% through June, to about 829,807 tonnes 

Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) reported its June cargo handle declined 5.1% y-o-y to around 160,000 tonnes. For the first half of the year, SIN’s handle was down about 5.7% to around 980,000 tonnes.    


Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) saw a 13.7% decline in cargo volume for the month, dropping to 123,000 tonnes of cargo. Its mail volume increased, though, rising 4.7% y-o-y to 1,730 tonnes. Inbound cargo dropped across the board, except from the Middle East, which rose 3.9%. Outbound cargo also dropped across the board. Year-to-date cargo volumes have declined by 9.2% compared to the same period in 2018, bringing total volumes at the airport to 767,519 tonnes of cargo.  

Frankfurt Airport (FRA) saw a 4.7% decrease in June’s cargo traffic with a count that totals to about 174,390 tonnes. Both airfreight and airmail volumes were down for the month, by 4.6% and 4.9% y-o-y, respectively. Freighter aircraft cargo to the U.S., however, was up by 4.9%, though direct traffic to and from Northeast Asia was down – specifically China by 7.5% y-o-y, South Korea by 14.3% y-o-y and Japan by 29.2% y-o-y – likely connected to the trade war between China and the U.S. Freighter aircraft connections to Russia and China also declined. There were further declines in freighters connecting to hubs in the Middle East, though this is in line with the negative freight development connected to Middle East carriers who reduced capacities, according to the airport. For the first half of 2019, cargo volumes have declined by 2.8% y-o-y at the airport to 1.1 million tonnes 

London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) saw a 6.1% y-o-y decline in June cargo volume. Volumes decreased y-o-y in most of the major markets served by LHR, with traffic within the European Union declining by 14.3%, North America declining by 9.5% and Asia-Pacific by 10.1%, but Latin America, the Middle East and Africa were all up, by a respective 8.1%, 9.1% and 2.3%. Year-to-date, LHR’s handle declined 4.2% compared to the same period in 2018.   

Vienna Airport’s (VIE’s) cargo handle fell 12.9% y-o-y in June, to 22,146 tonnes. For January through June, VIE’s air cargo handle declined 4.6% to 135,984 tonnes, compared to the same period the year prior.     


Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG) reported that its cargo volumes decreased 3.1% y-o-y in June and reached 99,697 tonnes in throughput. Year-to-date, cargo volumes are up 2.8% at the airport to 618,864 tonnes, continuing the airport’s tonnage growth since January.     

Ontario International Airport (ONT) handled 62,938 tonnes of cargo, marking close to flatline growth of 0.7% in June cargo volumes over the year prior. Freight volumes at the airport grew 2.4% y-o-y for the month, while mail volumes saw a steep decline. ONT’s cargo handle year-to-date increased 3.7% y-o-y to 351,640 tonnes.     

Los Angeles (LAX) reported a 6.9% decrease y-o-y in its June cargo handle, to 193,135 tonnes. Volumes at the airport were down 4.0% for the first half of the year to 1.1 million tonnes, compared to the same period in 2018.     

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s (SEA’s) cargo handle decreased 3.0% y-o-y in June to 40,818 tonnes. Freight volumes at the airport decreased by 4.0% in June overall – domestic freight declined by 8.0% y-o-y while international freight volumes increased by 1.8% y-o-y. Year-to-date, SEA’s cargo handle rose 1.2% to 210,103 tonnes, compared to the same period the year prior.   

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