Figures recently released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show that global cargo demand was up 9% in February 2021 in comparison with February 2019. This means that air cargo demand is now outperforming pre-Covid levels.
Asia-Pacific airlines have reported that international air cargo demand rose by 10.5% in February compared to the same month in 2019, although international capacity remained constrained and was down 23.6%. The region’s airlines reported the highest international load factor at 77.4%.
Globally, capacity shrank by 14.9% and the global manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was at 53.9%. Results above 50 indicate manufacturing growth versus the prior month.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general, said: “Air cargo demand is not just recovering from the Covid-19 crisis, it is growing. With demand at nine per cent above pre-crisis levels (February 2019), one of the main challenges for air cargo is finding sufficient capacity.
“Understanding how passenger demand could recover will indicate how much belly capacity will be available for air cargo. Being able to efficiently plan that into air cargo operations will be a key element for overall recovery.”