Air freight: Qatar Airways takes second place in the world in 2019

Par thierno - 27 August, 2020 - 11:21

Still the world's solid number 1 cargo carrier in 2019, Federal Express now shares the top 3 worldwide with Qatar Airways and United Parcel Services. Emirates is demoted to fourth place.

The ranking of the world's top twenty-five cargo carriers has been turned upside down in 2019. While Federal Express managed to maintain its number 1 position, with traffic of 17.503 billion tonnes/km transported (+0.02%), this was not the case for its challenger Emirates.

The Emirates company in fact dropped two places, following a 5.2% drop in traffic. This result, coming as an extension of a year without growth in 2018, has benefited Qatar Airways.

Meritorious performance

Thanks to a new progression of its tonnages (13.024 billion t/km), the Qatari operator has taken the second place in the world.

This performance is all the more meritorious as the company still has to deal with the blocking measures of neighbouring countries put in place since June 5, 2017. Thanks to the reception of new Boeing 777Freighters, its fleet now consists of twenty-eight all-cargo aircraft. Among these are 21 Boeing 777Fs.

United Parcel Service (UPS) joined the top three last year. A new increase in its traffic (+3.1%) brings it closer to 13 billion tonnes/km.

In fifth and sixth place respectively, the Asian companies Cathay Pacific Airways and Korean Air saw their traffic drop by 3.1% for the former and 5.5% for the latter.

Spectacular progress for Turkish Airlines

Appearing in seventh place, Lufthansa fell by 2.3% to 7.226 billion tonnes/km. On the other hand, this was not the case for Turkish Airlines, which gained three places in the world rankings.

Its growth has almost reached 20%, a figure to be compared with the 1% drop recorded by the world's twenty-five leading companies in 2019.

The Turkish company does not intend to stop on such a good path. Capitalising on the major asset represented by the new Istanbul airport and on an all-cargo fleet increased to twenty-three aircraft, it aims to integrate the top 5 by 2023.

Against a backdrop of commercial tensions affecting the Asian economies, several of the companies belonging to this continent have seen their traffic decrease significantly in 2019. This is true for China Airlines (-8.1%), but it is also true for Singapore Airlines (-5.3%) and Air China (-4%).

European airlines have also been affected by these declines, with British Airways losing 1.6% of its traffic and Air France 6.5% (at 3,775 billion t/km). KLM, however, held up better by carrying 0.1% more t/km.

Finally, Kalitta Air and AeroLogic joined the world's top 25 last year, in 23rd and 24th position respectively.