The carrier reporting the third strongest y-o-y growth was Saudi Arabian Airlines, which climbed six spots to reach No. 42 in 2018. Turkish Airlines reported the fourth highest y-o-y growth in traffic, at 23.8% to 6.1 billion FTKs. The carrier told Air Cargo World that it was able to grow so quickly by “using passenger [aircraft] belly cargo capacity more efficiently and [increasing] load factor ratios,” expanding its freighter fleet with the addition of 777F, A330F and 747F aircraft, and scheduling new freighter routes to destinations including Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, Liege, Mexico City, Miami and other destinations.
The largest y-o-y decline was, unsurprisingly, reported by Nippon Cargo Airlines. Y-o-y, the carrier’s traffic fell by 40.5%. Although the carrier declined to comment for this feature, the fall in traffic is no doubt due to the grounding of NCA’s entire fleet of 747 freighters last summer after regulators found irregularities in maintenance records. While the fleet has since returned to service, the process took several months and cost the carrier substantial operational time.