Amid Africa’s 2% global cargo market, region sees 14.2% year-on-year demand growth

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Africa, which accounts for 2.0% of the global air cargo market saw 14.2% year-on-year demand growth for air cargo.

The clearing house for more than 300 global airlines just released its latest y-o-y analysis of the air cargo market (a very useful barometer of trade) based on capacity (supply) and traffic (demand) in March 2024 stated that demand in Africa–Asia market increased to 22.9%, however, this was a 19.8 ppt decrease compared to February’s performance and the largest contraction across the major route areas.

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.

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Ethiopian Airlines cargo

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

“Air cargo demand grew by 10.3% over the previous March. This contributed to a strong first-quarter performance that slightly exceeded the 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,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Walsh listed several factors in the operating environment which led to the upswing such as global cross-border trade and industrial production increased by 1.2% and 1.6% respectively in February.

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He noted that the manufacturing output Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) climbed to 51.9 in March, 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.

Air cargo market in details

March 2024
(% year-on-year)
World share1 CTK ACTK CLF (%-pt) CLF (level)
Total Market 100% 10.3% 7.3% 1.3% 47.3%
Africa 2.0% 14.2% 17.3% -1.3% 47.3%
Asia Pacific 33.3% 14.3% 14.3% 0.0% 47.5%
Europe 21.4% 10.0% 8.0% 1.0% 58.1%
Latin America 2.8% 9.2% 7.0% 0.8% 40.2%
Middle East 13.5% 19.9% 10.6% 3.9% 49.6%
North America 26.9% 0.9% -1.9% 1.1% 40.4%
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1% of industry CTKs in 2023


Wole Shadare

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