Freight traffic for European airlines fell 0.6 percent in May as weaker demand in Asia gave the carriers their first year-over-year decline in cargo in nearly two years, according to the Association of European Airlines.
The May figures also faced tough comparisons to May 2010, when carriers reported unusually strong growth as shippers restocked inventories that were depleted during the global trade downturn.
Freight on Far East and Australasia routes, which make up nearly 40 percent of European airlines' traffic, fell 4.4 percent year-over-year in May, the AEA said, and the traffic also slipped slightly from April to May.
North Atlantic trade grew 0.6 percent from the same month a year ago, and improved 6.7 percent sequentially compared to April.
For the first five months of 2011, European air freight traffic was up 6.6 percent over the same period a year ago, the AEA said.
By the Numbers: European Airlines Freight Traffic