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Air freight growth at a standstill amid trade tensions

January 28, 2019 / Shefali Kapadia

Air cargo growth stagnated in November 2018, with 0% year-over-year growth in freight ton kilometers (FTKs), according to an analysis from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA attributed the slowdown to a combination of inventory restocking cycles and weakened economic activity related to trade tensions. Capacity, measured in available freight ton kilometers (AFTKs), grew 4.3% in November 2018 compared to the previous year. "This was the ninth month in a row that capacity growth outstripped demand," IATA said in a press release. "Normally the fourth quarter is a peak season for air cargo. So essentially flat growth in November is a big disappointment," Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said in a press release. November's unchanged year-over-year growth was air cargo's slowest growth rate since March 2016. IATA named "significant headwinds" contributing to the flat growth. These include weak global econo...