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IATA data outlines air cargo demand stabilised during July 2020

Posted: 2 September 2020 | | No comments yet

Though air cargo demand remains way below 2019 levels, new data published by IATA has shown that demand is beginning to stabilise following the COVID-19 pandemic.

IATA warns that air cargo bottlenecks puts lives at risk

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released new data for global air freight markets in July 2020, which outlines that air cargo demand is stable but at lower levels than in 2019.

While there is some month-to-month improvement, it is moving at a slower pace than some of the traditional leading indicators would suggest. This is due to the capacity constraint from the loss of available belly cargo space as passenger aircraft remain parked.

Global demand – measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) – fell by 13.5 per cent in July 2020 compared to the previous year. This is a modest improvement from the 16.6 per cent year-on-year drop recorded in June 2020. Seasonally-adjusted demand grew by 2.6 per cent month-on-month in July.

Global capacity – measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs) – shrank by 31.2 per cent in July 2020 compared to the previous year. This is a small improvement from the 33.4 per cent year-on-year drop in June 2020.  

Belly capacity for international air cargo shrank by 70.5 per cent in July 2020 compared to the previous year, owing to the withdrawal of passenger services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This was partially offset by a 28.8 per cent increase in capacity through the expanded use of freighter aircraft.

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “Economic indicators are improving, but we have not yet seen that fully reflected in growing air cargo shipments. That said, air cargo is much stronger than the passenger side of the business. One of our biggest challenges remains accommodating demand with severely reduced capacity. If borders remain closed, travel curtailed and passenger fleets grounded, the ability of air cargo to keep the global economy moving will be challenged.”

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