Africa Leads Global Air Cargo Industry, Posts Strongest H1 Growth Since 2017

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air cargo markets for June showing a 9.9% improvement on pre-COVID-19 performance (June 2019).

This pushed first half-year air cargo growth to 8%, its strongest first half performance since 2017 (when the industry posted 10.2% year-on-year growth).

African airlines saw their International cargo demand increase by 33.5% compared with the same month in 2019.

This was the strongest performance of all regions worldwide, but notably on small volumes (African airlines carry 2% of global cargo) and their international cargo capacity decreased by 4.9% compared with the same month in 2019.

June Regional Performance

Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo increase by 3.8% in June 2021 compared to the same month in 2019. International capacity remained constrained in the region, down 19.8% versus June 2019. Even though demand remains high, the region faces moderate headwinds from the lack of international capacity and manufacturing PMIs that are not as strong as in Europe and the US.

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IATA Director-General, Willie Walsh

North American carriers posted a 23.4% increase in international demand in June 2021 compared to June 2019. Underlying economic conditions and favorable supply chain dynamics remain supportive for air cargo carriers in North America. International capacity decreased by 2.1% compared with June 2019.

European carriers posted a 6.6% increase in international demand in June 2021 compared to the same month in 2019. International capacity decreased by 16.2% in June 2021 versus June 2019. Manufacturing PMIs are very strong in Europe indicating that market dynamics remain supportive for air cargo carriers in Europe.

 

Middle Eastern carriers posted a 17.1% rise in international cargo volumes in June 2021 versus June 2019, boosted by strong performances on the Middle East to Asia and Middle East to North America trade routes. International capacity in June was down 9% compared to the same month in 2019.

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Latin American carriers reported a decline of 22.9% in international cargo volumes in June compared to the 2019 period.  This was the worst performance of all regions and a weakening of performance compared to the previous month. International capacity decreased 28.4% in June 2021 compared to June 2019. This weak performance is mostly due to local airlines losing market share to carriers from other regions.

 

African airlines’ international cargo demand in June increased 33.5% compared to the same month in 2019. This was the strongest performance of all regions, but notably on small volumes (African carriers carry 2% of global cargo). International capacity in June decreased by 4.9% compared to the same month in 2019.

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Wole Shadare