In the Americas, Chile-based LATAM Cargo reported flat year-over-year cargo traffic and Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines reported continued year-over-year declines for the month of June.
The former saw a reprieve from the declines in year-over-year traffic it posted over the past two months, although its year-to-date performance remains in decline, while Delta Cargo entered its third consecutive month of double-digit declines that began in April, worsening its year-to-date decline.
LATAM Cargo’s traffic for June saw a slight increase of 0.4% year-over-year to 278 million RTKs. Year-to-date, traffic is down 0.5%. However, load factors also increased 2.3 percentage points to 55.1% for the month, thanks to a 3.4% y-o-y decrease in available ton kilometers (AFTKs) for June. Through the first half of 2019, AFTKs have decreased by 2.5%.
In the United States, Delta Cargo saw a sharp decline, of 13.4%, to about 169 million cargo ton miles (or about 247 million FTKs). Year-to-date, Delta’s cargo traffic is down by 8.0%.
Air cargo operators and industry associations have attributed weak cargo markets to continued market volatility, which has dampened demand and affected global supply chains. During Delta’s Q219 earnings call, Delta’s President Glen Hauenstein said at the time that the carrier is “very cautious on the cargo outlook for the rest of the year.” Ultimately, industry reports and Air Cargo World’s own monthly traffic and volume analyses suggest that volatility in cargo markets may result from continued declines in current political and economic conditions.