Association forecasts 2% growth next year following an estimated 3.3% decline this year, but yields will continue to slide with a 3% decline forecast for 2020, following a 5% decline in 2019, meaning revenues will slip for a third year in 2020.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is optimistic of a return to air freight growth in 2020, forecasting a 2% recovery in demand next year following an estimated 3.3% decline in traffic this year – the steepest drop since 2009 during the Global Financial Crisis.
At the association’s annual media event today, the association predicted that freight tonnes carried are expected to recover to 62.4 million in 2020, a 2% increase over 61.2 million tonnes carried in 2019, which was the lowest figure in three years.
The association highlighted that cargo traffic turned negative this year for the first time since 2012, noting: “The 3.3% annual decline in demand was the steepest drop since 2009 during the Global Financial Crisis. Freight carriage slipped to 61.2 million tonnes from 63.3 million tonnes in 2018.”
And on the outlook, it said: “Cargo traffic is expected to rebound moderately, with 2% growth in 2020, with tonnes forecast to reach 62.4 million, which is still below the 2018 result. Yields will continue to slide with a 3% decline forecast for 2020, an improvement from a 5% decline in 2019. Cargo revenues will slip for a third year in 2020 with revenues expected to total $101.2 billion, down 1.1% from 2019.”
The association highlighted a survey of airline CFOs and heads of cargo in October, reporting that they “were positive about future growth in air travel but less positive about cargo due to the slow-down in world trade as a result of trade disputes”, adding: “There are increasing concerns about global economic prospects amongst business worldwide. However, central banks have reacted to the slowdown with monetary policy easing and governments have used fiscal policy to stimulate domestic demand, limiting the risk of recession.”
Further details are expected tomorrow at the association’s annual Cargo Media Day.