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Air cargo demand up 8.3% in November: IATA

January 10, 2024
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Air cargo demand up 8.3% in November: IATA

London - Global demand for air cargo, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), increased by 8.3 percent in November compared to November 2022, indicating the strongest year-on-year growth in roughly two years.

“This is partly due to weakness in November 2022 but also reflects a fourth consecutive month of strengthening demand for air cargo,” says the latest update from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres (ACTKs), was up 13.7 percent compared to November 2022 (+11.6 percent for international operations), the update added. “Most of the capacity growth continues to be attributable to the increase in belly capacity as international passenger markets continue their post-Covid recovery.”

Compared to November 2019 (pre-Covid), demand is down 2.5 percent while capacity is up 4.1 percent, the update added.

Air cargo yields (including surcharges) continued their significant upward trend (+8.9 percent since October). Rising yields are in line with improving air cargo load factors over recent months. This could be tied in part to booming e-commerce deliveries from China to western markets, the update added.

“November air cargo demand was up 8.3 percent on 2022 — the strongest year-on-year growth in almost two years. That is a doubling of October’s 3.8 percent increase and a fourth month of positive market development,” says Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA. “It is shaping up to be an encouraging year-end for air cargo despite the significant economic concerns that were present throughout 2023 and continue on the horizon.”

November regional performance
Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes increase by 13.8 percent in November 2023 compared to the same month in 2022, the update added. “This performance was significantly above the previous month’s growth of 7.6 percent. Available capacity for the region’s airlines increased by 29.6 percent compared to November 2022 as more belly capacity came online with the removal of Covid restrictions.

North American carriers had the weakest demand growth in November with a 1.8 percent increase (YoY) in cargo volumes. This was, nonetheless, a significant improvement in performance compared to October’s decline of 1.8 percent. Capacity increased by four percent compared to November 2022.

European carriers saw cargo volumes increase by 6.7 percent, a stronger performance than October (one percent). Capacity increased 6.5 percent in November 2023.

Middle Eastern carriers had the strongest performance in November 2023 with a 13.5 percent year-on-year increase in cargo volumes. This was similar to the significant improvement in October (+13 percent). Capacity increased 15.4 percent compared to November 2022.

Latin American carriers experienced a 4.2 percent increase in cargo volumes, very similar to the four percent year-on-year increase recorded for October. Capacity was up 7.7 percent YoY.

African airlines saw their air cargo volumes increase by 3.9 percent in November 2023, slightly improved compared to October’s +2.9 percent performance. Capacity was 14 percent above November 2022 levels.

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