WorldACD highlights impact of “corona effect”

By Rachelle Harry

Ahead of its full results for February, which will be released in two weeks’ time, WorldACD has released preliminary figures for the month, which it says give an outlook on the “corona effect” when combined with January’s figures.

The analyst explained: “Looking at February in isolation leads to an incomplete picture of the state of air cargo. To properly take into account the effects of Chinese New Year on our year-over-year figures, one should look at the combined data for January and February”.

WorldACD reported that global airfreight demand declined by 2.7% year on year during the first two months of 2020.

Digesting its figures into regions, the analyst reported that “not surprisingly, China and North East Asia including Hong Kong, were hardest hit”, with year on year airfreight demand declines of 7.3% and 7.8% respectively. Demand in Western Europe – an area coronavirus is prevalent in addition to North East Asia – also decreased by 5%.

Meanwhile, WorldACD reported that “more than half of the countries in our database showed growth”. This includes Latin America, Eastern Europe and South East Asia, which experienced growth of 6.8%, 4.3% and 2.3% respectively.

WorldACD explained that for February alone “overall volume was roughly the same year on year”, however, revenues overall were 5.4% lower.

According to the analyst, cargo volumes last year from China picked up seven days after Chinese New Year. However, this year, volumes did not start picking up until 17 days after the Chinese holiday. This is due to the extended break that was put in place in attempts to contain the coronavirus.

COVID-19 has significantly impacted the airfreight industry. Air Cargo News sister title FlightGlobal has reported that following cuts made to its Japan passenger network, Cathay Pacific is considering operating cargo-only services on its passenger aircraft.

Meanwhile, Singapore-based low-cost airline Scoot will operate cargo-only passenger flights to China over the coming weeks as demand outstrips supply.

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