Global air cargo market soars in revenue

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for June’s global air cargo markets, reporting the strongest first half-year growth since 2017.
Compared to its pre-COVID-19 performance, marked as June 2019, global demand for air cargo services were up 9.9%, bumping first half-year growth to 8%.
“Air cargo is doing brisk business as the global economy continues its recovery from COVID-19 crisis,” said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General. “Air cargo is a revenue lifeline for many airlines as they struggle with border closures that continue to devastate the international passenger business. Importantly, the strong first-half performance looks set to continue.”
Despite improvements, overall capacity suffered, down 10.8% compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. Belly capacity also decreased by 38.9%, impacted partially by a 29.7% increase in dedicated freighter capacity.
Economic conditions are supply chain dynamics remain favorable for the air cargo industry. Low inventory to sales ratios in the United States means businesses rely on air cargo to quickly refill their stocks. Cost-competitiveness and reliability of air cargo has also improved, and prices relative to shipping have decreased significantly.
Regional variations in performance are significant. African airlines had the strongest performance of all regions, with a demand increase of 33.5%, but on small volumes, carrying only 2% of global cargo. North American carriers reported a 23.4% increase in international demand, and European carriers reported 6.6%. Middle Eastern airlines posted a 17.1% rise in international cargo volumes in June 2021 compared to June 2019, while Latin American carriers had a decline of 22.9%.