European hubs see cargo volume declines narrow in July

By Damian Brett

Declines in cargo traffic at European airports narrowed in July, but volumes were still down on a year earlier.

Statistics from Airports Council International (ACI) Europe show that cargo volumes declined by 2.3% year on year in July, with European Union (EU) airports registering a 3.1% drop-off and non-EU hubs reporting a small increase of  1.4%.

It is the ninth month in a row that airports have reported a year-on-year decline.

Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe, said: “July marked a significant slowdown for Europe’s airports. Passenger traffic is no longer defying economic gravity and the performance gap with freight traffic is narrowing. Beyond economic and geopolitical factors, this reflects airlines being much more cautious about capacity growth & new route openings.”

While another decline in cargo traffic can hardly been seen as a positive for cargo in Europe, the decrease was a big improvement on the 7.1% decline in June and better than the 3.2% decrease recorded over the first seven months of the year.

looking at individual airport performance for the month, the largest cargo hub in Europe, Frankfurt, registered a 1.3% increase on a year ago as volumes reached 168,773 tonnes.

At Paris CDG, there was a 4.1% drop-off in demand to 156,448 tonnes, London Heathrow was 6.9% behind last year at 130,589 tonnes, and slot constrained Schiphol was 10.5% down on a year ago to 129,143 tonnes.

Amongst the top 10 European airports for freight traffic, the best performance was achieved by Madrid as it reported an 8.4% year-on-year increase.

It isn’t just Europe that is suffering as a result of the downturn in global trade at the moment.

The world’s largest cargo hub, Hong Kong International Airport, revealed that cargo throughput at the gateway fell by 7.3% year on year in July to 401,000 tonnes.

The fall in cargo throughput was the result of 12% declines in both imports and transhipment volumes and came amid “global trade uncertainties”.

Among Hong Kong’s key trading partners, cargo traffic to/from Southeast Asia and North America decreased most significantly.

Over the first seven months of the year, HKIA handled 2.7m tonnes of freight, a fall of 6.8% compared to the same period of last year.

In North America, Miami International Airport bucked the trend as cargo volumes increased by 1.5% year on year to 179,290 tonnes. 

Over the first seven months of the year, cargo volumes at the US hub are up 0.5% year on year to 1.4m tonnes.


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