May 2021 global air cargo 9.4% above pre-COVID levels: IATA

12 Jul '21
2 min read
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock

Global demand for air cargo, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), was up by 9.4 per cent in May this year compared to the figure in the same month in 2019, showing demand continued its strong growth trend, according to data for global air cargo markets for the month released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently.

Seasonally adjusted demand rose by 0.4 per cent month-on-month in May, the 13th consecutive month of improvement.

The pace of growth slowed slightly in May compared to April, which saw demand increase by 11.3 per cent against pre-COVID-19 levels, i.e., April 2019. Air cargo outperformed global goods trade for the fifth consecutive month.

North American carriers contributed 4.6 percentage points to the 9.4 per cent growth rate in May. Airlines in all other regions except for Latin America also supported the growth.

Capacity remains constrained at 9.7 per cent below May 2019 levels due to the ongoing grounding of passenger aircraft. Seasonally adjusted capacity rose 0.8 per cent month-on-month in May, the fourth consecutive month of improvement indicating that the capacity crunch is slowly unwinding.

Underlying economic conditions and favourable supply chain dynamics remain supportive for air cargo, IATA said in a press release.

“As economies unlock, we can expect a shift in consumption from goods to services. This could slow growth for cargo in general, but improved competitiveness compared to sea shipping should continue to make air cargo a bright spot for airlines while passenger demand struggles with continued border closures and travel restrictions,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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