December traffic reflects bleak year for European carriers

European carriers’ preliminary traffic results for December indicate protracted market weakness due to global trade uncertainty continued through the end of 2019. Air France-KLM, Lufthansa Group and International Airlines Group reported year-over-year declines in cargo traffic. Only Turkish Cargo reported volume growth for the month.

In 2019, three of the four carriers tracked by Air Cargo World reported declines in YoY traffic results. These figures continue to reflect the decline in demand tracked in 2019. Sources tell Air Cargo World they maintain conservative outlooks for the first half of 2020, but anticipate increased volumes to come by summer this year.

Here is a closer look at carrier results:

Air France-KLM’s December cargo traffic declined by 4.1% YoY to 734 million freight tonne kilometers (FTKs). Air France saw a decline in traffic of 1.5% YoY to 343 million FTKs, while KLM reported a modest 6.3% decline to 391 million FTKs. For the entire year, the group’s total cargo traffic was down 2.2% YoY to 8.4 billion FTKs.

International Airlines Group reported that group traffic dropped 7.8% YoY in December to 458 million FTKs. All IAG subsidiary carriers saw declines in cargo traffic for December. Year to date, IAG’s cargo traffic declined 2.4% to 5.5 billion FTKs, compared to the same period the year prior.

Lufthansa Group reported a decline of 3.6% YoY in its December traffic to 734 million FTKs. The carrier saw weaker demand for the Americas and Asia Pacific regions, which saw declines of 8.8% and 2.0%YoY, respectively. For 2019, Lufthansa reported a 2.1% decline in its overall traffic to 10.6 billion FTKs.

Turkish Cargo reported a 6.0% YoY increase in cargo tonnage carried, to just over 137,000 tonnes. For the full year 2019, cargo volumes are up 9.2% YoY to more than 1.5 million tonnes.

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