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ISTANBUL/AMSTERDAM: May 31, 2019. Turkish Airlines is to begin weekly A330-200 freighter flights between Istanbul and Sheremetyevo Airport, Moscow from June 12 to support exports of Russian automotive products and imports of textiles, electronics and perishables.

The new service follows a continuing decline in air cargo industry volumes with analyst WorldACD reporting a 3.8 percent overall drop year-on-year in April and by 3.6 percent month-on-month.

Turkish Cargo A330F“April 2019 was the first month in which all regions, without exception, were confronted with the growing impact of adverse market movements that started last September,” said the analyst in its latest report. “For both incoming and outgoing air cargo, each region returned year-on-year volume figures worse than the first quarter of the year, underscoring the clear slow-down in global business.”

Despite a 5.2 percent rise in high tech traffic and 4.1 percent in pharma business over the same month last year, WorldACD said “there is no denying that the bigger air cargo regions are hit hardest in the uncertain times we live in.”

Noting that while traffic from Asia Pacific to Africa grew, it offered little consolation for the overall region as Europe, MESA and North America “were even denied such a small glimmer of hope.”

WorldACD added the percentage drop had "not been seen for years" with yields falling five percent between Jan-Apr 2018 and Jan-Apr 2019.

Meeting in Seoul for its annual general meeting on June 01, IATA announced its members would realise a pre-tax profit of US$28 billion this year - down from a December 2018 forecast of US$35.5 billion.

IATA secretary-general Alexandre de Juniac cited a weakening of global trade as Trump continues his trade war with China: "This primarily impacts the cargo business but passenger traffic could also be impacted as tensions rise. Airlines will still turn a profit this year, but there is no easy money to be made,” declared de Juniac.

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