IATA Reports Continued Decline in Global Air
IATA's global air cargo market data for April
2023 shows a continued, but slower, decline against the previous
year’s demand performance.
Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers
(CTK), fell 6.6% compared to April 2022 (-7% for international
operations), an improvement of -7.6% on the previous month's
Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers
(ACTK), was up 13.4% compared to April 2022 and up 3.2%
on April 2019, marking the first time in three years that
the capacity has surpassed pre-COVID levels.
The strong uptick is
primarily driven by belly capacity as demand in the passenger
business recovers. Adjusting for this, freighter capacity declined
- The global new export orders component of the
Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a leading indicator of cargo
demand, improved in April. China’s PMI level surpassed the
critical 50-mark indicating that demand for manufactured goods
from the world’s largest export economy is growing.
- Global goods trade increased by 0.2% in March,
marking the first annual increase since November 2022.
- Consumer and producer prices increases have
moderated. The April headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded
rates of 5% in the US, 0.3% in China, and 3.5% in Japan. While
Europe was higher (8.1%), it is well below its 11.5% October 2022
"The air cargo industry is adjusting itself to the
implications of the recovery in passenger demand that brings with
it an expansion of belly capacity," said Willie Walsh, IATA’s
Director General. "The demand environment is challenging to read.
Tapering inflation is definitely a positive. But the degree and
speed at which that could lead to looser monetary policies that
might stimulate demand is unclear. The resilience that got the air
cargo industry through the COVID19 crisis is also critical in the
Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes
decrease by 0.4% in April 2023 compared to the same month in 2022, a significant improvement in performance compared to
March (-6.8%). Available capacity in the region increased by 41.2%
compared to April 2022 as more and more belly capacity came online
from the passenger side of the business.
North American carriers saw the weakest
performance of all regions with a 13.1% decrease in cargo volumes
in April 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. This was a drop
in performance compared to March (-10.2%). Notably, airlines in
the region saw a significant decrease in international demand in
April due to a substantial fall in volumes on two major trade
lanes: North America-Europe (-13.5%) and North America-Asia
(-9.3%). Capacity decreased 1.5% compared to April 2022.
European carriers experienced an 8.2% decrease in
cargo volumes in April 2023 compared to the same month in 2022.
This was a slight decline in performance compared to March
(-7.4%). Airlines in the region saw a significant decrease in
international demand due to double-digit contractions on the North
America-Europe (-13.5%) trade lane, as well as within Europe
(-16.1%). This was partially offset by strong demand on the
Europe-Asia route (3.4%), which helped mitigate the overall
decline in the region. Capacity increased 7.8% in April 2023
compared to April 2022.
Middle Eastern carriers experienced a 6.8%
year-on-year decrease in cargo volumes in April 2023, a
slight decline in performance compared to the previous month
(-5.5%). Capacity increased 10% compared to April 2022.
Latin American carriers reported a 1.6% decrease
in cargo volumes in April 2023 compared to April 2022, an
improvement in performance compared to March (-4.4%). Capacity in
April was up 8.1% compared to the same month in 2022.
African airlines had the only positive performance
in April posting a 0.9% increase in demand compared to April 2022.
This was an improvement in performance compared to the previous
month (-4.3%). Notably, the Africa to Asia trade route experienced
a significant increase in cargo demand in April, up 20%
year-on-year. Capacity was 5.3% above April 2022 levels.