Air cargo recovery happening at a slow pace: IATA

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air cargo demand is recovering slowly from the effect of COVID-19. The association has released data for global air freight markets in June showing improvement, but at a slower pace than some of the traditional leading indicators would suggest. Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), fell by 17.6 per cent in June (19.9 per cent for international operations) compared to the previous year.

That is a modest improvement from the 20.1 per cent year-on-year drop recorded in May.

However, global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres (ACTKs), shrank by 34.1 per cent in June (33.9 per cent for international operations) compared to the previous year. This was on par with the 34.8 per cent y-o-y drop in May. Belly capacity for international air cargo shrank by 70 per cent in June compared to the previous year due to the withdrawal of passenger services amid COVID-19.

June Regional Performance

  • Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo fall by 20 per cent in June 2020 compared to the same period a year earlier.  International capacity decreased 32.3 per cent.
  • North American carriers reported a single digit fall in international cargo demand of 8.8 per cent year-on-year in June. International capacity decreased 30.7 per cent.
  • European carriers reported a 27.6 per cent annual drop in international cargo volumes in June. This was a slight improvement from May’s performance of 29.5 per cent but still the second weakest performance of all regions. International capacity decreased 40.7 per cent.
  • Middle Eastern carriers reported a decline of 19.1 per cent year-on-year in June, an improvement from the 24.9 per cent fall in May. International capacity decreased 25.8 per cent, the best of all regions.