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GENEVA: August 16, 2019. IATA reports a decline in seasonally-adjusted freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) for June after three consecutive monthly increases. The airline association says the fall is the result of additional tariff rises in Trump’s ongoing US-China trade war and a subsequent slowdown in global economic growth.

The gap between passenger and freight load factors – and the relative fortunes of the passenger and cargo businesses - further widened in June.

Vietnam Airlines B787 10Despite a modest decline from a record high level in May, the industry-wide seasonally adjusted (SA) passenger load factor remained close to record high levels at 82.9 percent.

By contrast, the SA freight load factor fell significantly further to 45.8 percent, some 3.5 percentage points lower than the same period a year ago.

Available FTKs have followed a stable trend in the last six months as airlines adjusted capacity in response to weaker demand. This resulted in overall freight capacity growth of 2.6 percent compared to 4.4 percent in 2018, according to IATA data.

For the first half of 2019 the industry took delivery of 641 aircraft compared to 820 last year, and an average of 748 units between 2013 and 2018.

“We expect freight outlook to be fragile and our latest Business Confidence Survey also confirms that as the expectations of further deterioration more than doubled compared to [the] April survey,” said IATA.

Pictured: Bucking the trend this month is Vietnam Airlines that took delivery of the first of eight Air Lease Corporation B787-10 aircraft from Boeing’s assembly plant near Charleston, South Carolina.

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