The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets in June showing an improvement, but at a slower pace than some of the traditional leading indicators would suggest.
Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), fell by 17.6% in June (-19.9% for international operations) compared to the previous year. That is a modest improvement from the 20.1% year-on-year drop recorded in May.
Global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), shrank by 34.1% in June (‑33.9% for international operations) compared to the previous year. This was on par with the 34.8% year-on-year drop in May.
Belly capacity for international air cargo shrank by 70% in June compared to the previous year due to the withdrawal of passenger services amid COVID-19. This was partially offset by a 32% increase in capacity through expanded use of freighter aircraft.
“Cargo is, by far, healthier than the passenger markets but doing business remains exceptionally challenging. While economic activity is re-starting after major lockdown disruptions there has not been a major boost in demand. The rush to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to market has subsided as supply chains regularized, enabling shippers to use cheaper sea and rail options. And the capacity crunch continues because passenger operations are recovering very slowly,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
All regions recorded declines in June. Airlines in North America and Africa saw more moderate drops compared to the other regions. African airlines posted a contraction of 13.8% in June. This was a weaker performance than the 7.3% fall in demand in May. The small Africa-Asia market continued to grow in June up 20.1%. However, the region suffered from the effects of the pandemic becoming more severe in June. International capacity in this region decreased 46.2%.
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