Air Cargo Posts Fourth Straight Month of Double-Digit Growth in March

Air Cargo Posts Fourth Straight Month of Double-Digit Growth in March

Middle Eastern carriers see 19.9% year-on-year growth in demand

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for March 2024 global air cargo markets showing continuing strong annual growth in demand. 

Middle Eastern carriers saw 19.9% year-on-year demand growth for air cargo in March – the strongest of all regions.

The Middle East–Europe market was the strongest performing with 38.3% growth, ahead of Middle East-Asia which grew by 19.6% year-on-year. March capacity increased 10.6% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, total demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), rose by 10.3% compared to March 2023 levels (11.4% for international operations). This is the fourth consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year growth. 

Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), increased by 7.3% compared to March 2023 (10.5% for international operations). 

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Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General said: "Air cargo demand grew by 10.3% over the previous March. This contributed to a strong first quarter performance which slightly exceeded even the exceptionally strong 2021 first quarter performance during the COVID crisis.

"With global cross-border trade and industrial production continuing to show a moderate upward trend, 2024 is shaping up to be a solid year for air cargo."

Global factors:

International cross-border trade and industrial production increased by 1.2% and 1.6% respectively in February. 

In March, the manufacturing output Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) climbed to 51.9, indicating expansion. The new export orders PMI also rose to 49.5, remaining slightly below the 50 threshold that would indicate growth expectations. 

Inflation saw a mixed picture in March. In the EU and Japan, inflation rates fell to 2.6% and 2.7% respectively, while rising in the US to 3.5%. In contrast, China experienced a slight deflation of -0.01%. This latest figure marks a return to deflation after February's brief period of inflation. 

Read More: Dubai-Europe Tonnages Continue Surge As Global Demand Stabilizes

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