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IATA data for April reveals slowing decline in global air cargo demand

Willie Walsh
photo_camera IATA's Willie Walsh

Global air cargo market data for April 2023 showed a continued, but slower, decline against the same month in 2022, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The figures from the global aviation body show global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), dropped 6.6 per cent compared to April 2022 (-7.0 per cent for international operations).

However, the decline was a slight improvement over the previous month’s performance (-7.6 per cent).

Capacity figures (measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres, ACTK) saw an increase of 13.4 per cent compared to April 2022, which is also up 3.2 per cent compared to April 2019, marking the first time in three years that capacity has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

Willie Walsh, IATA director general, said: “The air cargo industry is adjusting itself to the implications of the recovery in passenger demand that brings with it an expansion of belly capacity.

“Preighter operations stopped in March and freighter services were scaled back by 2.3% in April. The demand environment is challenging to read.”

Walsh added: “Tapering inflation is definitely a positive. But the degree and speed at which that could lead to looser monetary policies that might stimulate demand is unclear. The resilience that got the air cargo industry through the COVID-19 crisis is also critical in the aftermath.”

IATA reports that several key factors have influenced demand, including an improvement in the global new export orders component of the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), and that global goods trade increased by 0.2 per cent in March, marking the first annual increase since November 2022.

The full ‘Air Cargo Market Analysis’ for April 2023 can be found on the IATA website.

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