ACI EUROPE reports continued decline in airfreight volumes

European airport trade body ACI EUROPE has released air traffic statistics covering October, and its figures record that airfreight traffic through its European gateways fell by 2.6% year on year in the month.

It was the 12th consecutive month of air cargo decline. The October figure was also 2.8% down on September’s figure.

Aircraft movements (involving passenger and cargo aircraft) through these European gateways turned negative for the first time this year in October, at -0.5%.

As in preceding months, the downturn in freight traffic in October centred on EU airports, which saw their volumes down by 3.4% year on year.

Non-EU airports saw their airfreight actually rise year on year, by 1.4%.

Out of the busiest 10 European airports for airfreight, only two saw their airfreight traffic increase year on year in October: Liège in Belgium (+2.2%) and Luxembourg (+1.9%).

ACI EUROPE represents over 500 airports in 45 European countries. Its member airports handled 21.2m tonnes of freight in 2018.

Earlier this month (December), airline association IATA announced that it was predicting that the air cargo sector will return to growth next year, while airlines are also expected to improve their profitability.

In its annual outlook, IATA said that freight volumes are expected to increase by 2% year on year in 2020 to reach 62.4m tonnes, following a 3.3% decline to 61.2m tonnes that it has predicted for this year.

The demand decline experienced this year is the steepest drop since 2009, during the global financial crisis.

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