African air freight carriers struggled to gain traction in 2018
An analysis by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that year-on-year growth in international freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) flown by airlines across Africa remained in negative territory in November for the eighth time in nine months (-7.1%).
According to the association’s latest report on air cargo, the slowdown in freight demand growth in 2018 has been consistent with the typical pattern following inventory restocking cycles in the past. However, the loss of upward momentum in 2018 appears to illustrate the increasing headwinds to freight demand from renewed signs of weakness in global economic activity.
Nonetheless, their analysis shows that while the total amount of international FTKs flown by African carriers is still around 7% below its mid-2017 peak in South African terms, volumes are around 28% higher than their most recent trough in late-2015. This corresponds to strong annual growth in the region of 9% over the past three years.
Meanwhile, the IATA expects industry-wide FTKs to grow by 3.7% in 2019 as a whole, supported in part by fast-growing areas such as e-commerce.