November sees weak air cargo volumes at American carriers

American, Delta and the Latam Group all recorded year-on-year declines in air cargo volumes in November, while demand was flat at United.
The latest monthly figures from the three US airlines show that demand at United was flat year-on-year in November as it handled 222m cargo revenue ton miles (CTM). But demand was down on a month earlier, when it handled 233m CTM.
At American, November demand declined by 2% on a year earlier as it handled 196m CTM. Demand was also down on a month earlier when traffic totalled 233m CTM.
The news was no better at Delta as it continued to record double-digit demand declines, registering a drop of 12.2% compared with November last year to 172m CTM.
It is the fifth month in a row that the airline has recorded a double-digit year-on-year decline in demand. In October, it handled 192m CTM.

The declines in November compared to October should come as no real surprise as this has largely been the pattern for the last few years at the US carriers.
In contrast, the Latam Group tends to register an increase in November, which is usually its busiest month of the year.
Therefore it was no surprise to see the airline group record a cargo volumes increase to 340m revenue tonne km (RTK) from 333m in October.
However, its performance suffered on a year-on-year basis as demand declined by 13.7% compared with a year earlier.
"Cargo traffic continues to be weak during the month of November especially in Brazil domestic and international markets,” it said.
“Additionally, weaker seasonal exports from Latin America contributed to the softness in demand.”
Cargo capacity at the airline group was down by 3.1% and as a result load factors declined to 56.9% from 63.9% this time last year.

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