IATA data for global air freight markets in
September 2020 shows that air cargo demand, while strengthening,
remains depressed compared to 2019 levels.

Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers
(CTKs), was 8% below previous-year levels in September (-9.9% for
international operations). That is an improvement from the 12.1%
year-on-year drop recorded in August. Month-on-month demand grew
by 3.7% in September.

Global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), shrank by 25.2% in September (28% for
international operations) when compared to the previous year. That is
nearly three times larger than the contraction in demand,
indicating a severe lack of capacity in the market.

Strong regional variations are emerging with North American and
African carriers reporting year-on-year gains in demand (+1.5% and
+9.7% respectively), while all other regions remained in negative
territory compared to a year earlier.

Improving
performance is aligned with improvements in key economic
indicators;

– The new export orders component of the
manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose above the 50-mark,
indicating growth, for the first time since mid-2018; and

CargoLogicAir Boeing 747-400ERF reg: G-CLBA. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

– The World Trade Organization revised their 2020
trade growth forecast from -12.9% to -9.2%.

“Air cargo volumes are down on
2019, but they are a world apart from the extreme difficulties in
the passenger business,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director
General and CEO. “For air cargo, 92% of the business is
still there, whereas about 90% of international passenger traffic
has disappeared. Favorable indicators for the peak year-end season
will support the continued recovery in demand. Already North
American and African carriers are reporting demand gains on 2019.
The challenge continues to be on capacity. As carriers adjust
schedules to reflect falling passenger demand amid the resurgence
of COVID-19, valuable belly capacity will be lost when it is
needed the most.”

Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo fall
14.6% in September 2020 compared to the same month last year.
This was an improvement from the 16.4% fall in August 2020. Demand
on routes between Asia–North America and Asia–Africa were
strongest. International capacity remained constrained in the
region, down 32%, despite airlines adding more capacity on many
routes.

North American carriers returned to pre-crisis
levels, posting a 1.5% increase in international demand compared
to the previous year—the first month of growth in 10 months. This
strong performance was driven by the Asia-North America routes,
reflecting e-commerce demand for products manufactured in Asia.
The region’s domestic market also performed robustly.
International capacity decreased by 19.7%.

European carriers
reported a decrease in demand of 15.7% compared to last year. Improvements have been slight but consistent amid recovering
economic activity and increasing exports, however, all major
routes remained in contractionary territory. International
capacity decreased 32.8%.

Middle Eastern carriers reported a
decline of 2.5% in year-on-year international cargo volumes in
September, a significant improvement from the 6.7% fall in August.
The region was one of the most severely affected by COVID-19. However, due to regional airlines aggressively adding capacity
following the peak of the crisis, it has seen a sharp V-shaped
recovery. International capacity decreased by 23.5%.

Latin
American carriers reported a decline of 22.2% compared to the
previous year. The region’s weak performance is owing to a severe
slowdown in economic activity including trade, rather than
insufficient cargo capacity. International capacity decreased
32.2%.

African airlines saw demand increase by 9.7%
year-on-year in September. This was the fifth consecutive month in
which the region posted the strongest increase in international
demand. Investment flows along the Africa-Asia route continue to
drive the regional outcomes. International capacity decreased by
24.9%.

See latest

Travel News,
Video
Interviews,
Podcasts
and other
news regarding:

COVID19,

IATA,

FTK,

Cargo,

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