May air cargo 9.4 pc above pre-Covid levels: IATA
Geneva: Global demand measured in cargo tonne kilometres was up 9.4 per cent compared to May 2019, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.
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 11.3 per cent against pre-Covid-19 levels (April 2019). Notwithstanding, air cargo outperformed global goods trade for the fifth consecutive month.
IATA said 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 pre-Covid-19 levels (May 2019) 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.
"Propelled by strong economic growth in trade and manufacturing, demand for air cargo is 9.4 per cent above pre-crisis levels. As economies unlock, we can expect a shift in consumption from goods to services," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.
"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," he said.
Asia Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo increase 5.3 per cent in May compared to the same month in 2019. This was a decrease compared to the previous month (5.9 per cent) due to a slight slowdown in growth in several large trade routes such as within Asia.
International capacity remained constrained in the region, down 16.9 per cent versus May 2019. As was the case in April, the region's airlines reported the highest international load factor at 75.2 per cent. (ANI)