Plummeting Air Freight Demand Causes Tough Start

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The Airports Council International, also known as the ACI recently reported the traffic data for the month of February and thereby, indicating a rough start for the following year. The reports were however, said to be skewed by the date of the Chinese New Year which falls early in the month.

Although the decline was a cause of concern for the organisation the ACI organisation verified its stance by blaming the Chinese New year for the plummeting demands. The council also blamed the last year’s strike along the west coast post in US which led to a large quantity of sea-freight being converted to air cargo services.

The ACI went ahead by publishing the reports on the total decline of traffic most of which slid down by a total of 4.1% by the starting of February while the domestic traffic came down by 0.8% and the international traffic by a close 5.1%.

Traffic and freight losses have also been reported at some of the busiest airports of the world namely, Seoul-Incheon (9.4%), Hong Kong (14.9%), Shanghai-Pudong (13.1%), Taipei (18.2%) and Tokyo-Narita (16%).

Despite this plummeting figures, some of the air freight airports managed to see an increase in traffic including some major air cargo hubs like London-Heathrow(+2.7%), Doha( +20.8%), Paris- Charles de Gaulle(+9.9%) and Dubai(+2.9%).

The ACI said that the figures represented a two-sided situation. While the East-Asia saw a major decline in its air traffic market, the ones in Europe were either slow or marginally flat in growth.

The data presented by ACI for the first two months combined shows a total of 1.3% yearly decline in the market wherein the domestic traffic soared by 0.9% and the international traffic fell by 2.3% in total. The cause of the decline was again said to be the west coast sea port crisis which led to a strike rendering some of the major ports to dysfunction. 

The data further showed that nearly 16 of the best 20 airports experienced a yearly decline in their freight volume for the month of February.  A few of these airports include Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Singapore, Miami, Memphis and Louisville, among others.

This weakening of the freight volume is expected to continue till the end of the holiday season after which the figure is likely to rise especially in East Asia regions. The reports were presented by ACI collectively for the month ending in February. In fact, by the end of February the international freight of all the major companies went down. The reports for which were presented by the ACI that showed that the markets of East Asia were worst affected while those of Europe grew somewhat marginally. Despite the decline, there were a few freight companies which did good business and did not show any decline in their freight business.

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