American Cargo Monthly: Divergence in freight growth continues

The divergence in performance among the main freight carrying airlines in the US continued in August as United and American airlines both achieved growth while Delta Air Lines registered another decline.
The country’s largest cargo airline, United, recorded another strong month in August with demand increasing by 8.8% compared with last year to 130m cargo ton miles (CTM).
It is the airline’s fifth increase in a row and if it continues to grow at its current pace it will beat last year’s performance.
American also recorded its fifth year on year demand increase in a row in August with a 1.5% improvement on a year earlier to 193m CTM.
In contrast, Delta had another difficult month as it registered an August decrease of 12.8% to 163m CTM. It is the airline’s 18th monthly decrease in a row.
The airline’s performance was affected by a power outage during the month, which caused the airline to cancel 2,300 flights over three days.
However, the percentage decline isn’t too much lower than experienced in other months this year and Delta has this year recorded double digit percentage demand declines in six of eight months.
The airline is in the process of switching its cargo division to a more customer focused approach.
This year has seen a divergence in performance of the three airlines, with a clear widening of the gap between the different airlines’ cargo demand figures.

In August last year there was a 27m CTM difference between the best performing of the three airlines and the worst.
This August, that gap between the best and worst performing airline has increased to 37m CTM.
Meanwhile, LATAM continues to struggle as a result of the performance of South American economies, particularly Brazil.

In August, demand was down 9.3% year on year to 272m revenue ton km. It reduced cargo capacity during the month but this was not enough to offset the demand slide and as a result its cargo load factor dipped to 48.4% compared with 51.1% in August 2015.
There is some good news coming from the airline, as it is launching a new product portfolio, a cargo rewards scheme and a new website.

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