July Air Cargo Demand Stable, Capacity Remains Constrained

July Air Cargo Demand Stable, Capacity Remains Constrained

Middle East carriers emerge top performers

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets in July showing air cargo demand is stable but at lower levels than 2019.

Middle Eastern carriers reported a decline measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) of 14.9% in year-on-year international cargo volumes in July, an improvement from the 19% fall in June.

Seasonally-adjusted demand in the region grew 7.2% month-on-month in July–the strongest of all regions. This recovery was driven by the aggressive operational strategies of some of the region’s carriers. International capacity decreased 27.1%, the most resilient of all regions.

Internationally, loss of available belly cargo space continues to be constrained as passenger aircraft remain parked.

Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), fell by 13.5% in July (-15.5% for international operations) compared to the previous year. That is a modest improvement from the 16.6% year-on-year drop recorded in June. Seasonally-adjusted demand grew by 2.6% month-on-month in July.

Global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), shrank by 31.2% in July (‑32.9% for international operations) compared to the previous year. This is a small improvement from the 33.4% year-on-year drop in June.

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Belly capacity for international air cargo shrank by 70.5% in July. This was partially offset by a 28.8% increase in capacity through expanded use of freighter aircraft.

Economic activity continued to recover in July reflected in the performance of the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), an indicator of economic health in the manufacturing sector.

The new export orders component of the manufacturing PMI rose by 3.5 points compared to June, and was up 19.8 points since April

The PMI tracking global manufacturing output returned to above 50, consistent with month-on-month growth in output

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO 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.

"And 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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