• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Global air cargo demand shows resilience in August

Air cargo demand from Africa strongest despite challenges in July – IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released August 2022 data for global air cargo markets which demonstrated the industry’s resilience amid economic uncertainties.

Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell 8.3 percent compared to August 2021 (-9.3 percent for international operations). This was a slight improvement on the year-on-year decline of 9.7 percent seen in July.

Capacity was 6.3 percent above August 2021 (+6.1 percent for international operations). This is a significant expansion over the 3.6 percent year-on-year increase in July.

Global goods trade expanded slightly in August and the additional easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China will positively impact cargo markets. While maritime will be the main beneficiary, air cargo will also receive a boost from these developments.

Inflation levels in G7 countries slowed for the first time since November 2020.

Oil prices stabilized in August and the jet fuel crack spread fell from a peak in June.

New export orders, a leading indicator of cargo demand and world trade, decreased in leading economies in all regions except the US.

Read also: Prioritise aviation fuel refining to reduce air fares, experts tell FG

“Air cargo continues to demonstrate resilience. Cargo volumes, while tracking below the exceptional performance of 2021, have been relatively stable in the face of economic uncertainties and geopolitical conflicts. Market signals remain mixed. August presented several indicators with upside potential: oil prices stabilized, inflation slowed and there was a slight expansion in goods traded globally. But the decrease in new export orders in all markets except the US tells us that developments in the months ahead will need to be watched carefully,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General said.

August regional performance

African airlines saw cargo volumes increase by 1.0 percent in August 2022 compared to August 2021. This was a significant improvement on growth recorded the previous month (-3.5 percent). Capacity was 1.4 percent below August 2021 levels.

Asia-Pacific airlines airlines saw their air cargo volumes decrease by 8.3 percent in August 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. This was an improvement over the 9.0 percent decline in July. Airlines in the region benefited from slightly increased levels of trade and manufacturing activity due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China. Available capacity in the region increased 13.9 percent compared to August 2021, a significant increase over the 2.7 percent growth in July.

North American carriers posted a 3.4 percent decrease in cargo volumes in August 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. This was an improvement over the 5.7 percent decline in July. The lifting of restrictions in China improved demand and a further boost is expected in the coming months. Capacity was up 5.7 percent compared to August 2021.

European carriers saw a 15.1 percent decrease in cargo volumes in August 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. This was the worst performance of all regions for the fourth month in a row. This is attributable to the war in Ukraine. Labour shortages and high inflation levels, most notably in Türkiye, also affected volumes. Capacity increased 0.4% in August 2022 compared to August 2021.

Middle Eastern carriers experienced an 11.3 percent year-on-year decrease in cargo volumes in August. Stagnant cargo volumes to/from Europe impacted the region’s performance. Capacity was down 0.1 percent compared to August 2021.

Latin American carriers reported an increase of 9.0 percent in cargo volumes in August 2022 compared to August 2021. This was the strongest performance of all regions.