Difficult year for cargo demand on Latin American routes

08 / 01 / 2016

The full impact of economic weakness in Latin American and Caribbean countries has been laid bare in the latest industry statistics.

Figures from the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), whose members represent 90% of the region’s commercial air traffic, show than demand for the first 11 months of last year declined by 7.5% year on year to 4.4bn FTK.

The largest decline came on flights heading into and out of the region, with demand slipping by 7.8% to 2.9bn FTK.

Intra-regional cargo demand, both domestic and international, was down by 6.7% on the same period in 2014 to 1.5bn FTK.

The declines come as major economies in the region continue to struggle. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expecting Brazilian GDP to decline by 3% in 2015 and Argentinian GDP to grow by just 0.4%.

The situation doesn’t appear to be too optimistic for the year ahead either, with the IMF projecting a 0.7% decline in Argentina’s GDP and 1% fall from Brazil.

The region’s weakness is also reflected in the Latam Group’s monthly figures. In figures for the 11 months the airline’s cargo traffic has slid by 12.2% on a year earlier to 3.5m revenue tonne km.

However, this is in part down to its decision to reduce freighter capacity.