The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered severe volatility in the global air cargo industry, both on the supply and demand sides. Dedicated freighter charters and aircraft have made up for much of the capacity losses, leading to freighters now being the backbone of the air cargo market.
However, with continued outbreaks and travel restrictions likely to remain in place, it is unclear how much belly capacity can – or will – be added throughout the remainder of 2021.
Exports of fruit and vegetables, particularly mangoes, from south-west Bangladesh to Europe started in mid-May and caused a spike in air cargo volumes.
It is expected that there will be a significant rise in air cargo shipments once restrictions on passenger flights are lifted.
Pricing strength continues to be seen ex-Dhaka to the US and Europe. The market continues to be strong overall, with demand in several markets outstripping supply and levels of ecommerce cargo increasing. Capacity, however, is still on a downward trend due to flight restrictions.
Carriers are facing congestion to US points and transit is reported as taking 2-3 days longer than usual.
The Dhaka airport operation is smooth, with no backlog reported.
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