Air cargo demand showing good resilience

29 November 2022

Air cargo demand showing good resilience

IATA’s August 2022 data for global air cargo markets demonstrated the industry’s resilience amid economic uncertainties.

1. Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), fell 8.3% compared with August 2021 (-9.3% for international operations). This was a slight improvement on the decline of 9.7% seen in July.

2. Capacity was 6.3% above August 2021 (+6.1% for international operations). This is a significant expansion over the 3.6% increase in July.

Several factors should be noted in the operating environment:

1. Global goods trade expanded slightly in August and the additional easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China will positively impact cargo markets. Though maritime will be the main beneficiary, air cargo will also receive a boost from these developments.

2. Inflation levels in G7 countries slowed for the first time since November 2020. Oil prices stabilized in August and the jet fuel crack spread fell from a peak in June.

3. New export orders, a leading indicator of cargo demand and world trade, decreased in leading economies in all regions except the United States. “Air cargo continues to demonstrate resilience. Cargo volumes, though tracking below the exceptional performance of 2021, have been relatively stable in the face of economic uncertainties and geopolitical conflicts. Market signals remain mixed.

4. August presented several indicators with upside potential: oil prices stabilized, inflation slowed, and there was a slight expansion in goods traded globally. But the decrease in new export orders in all markets except the United States tells us that developments in the months ahead will need to be watched carefully,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.