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Air freight demand returns to pre-pandemic levels

Air freight demand returns to pre-pandemic levels
Photo: Airlines.iata.org

Data published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for January 2021 data relating to global air cargo markets shows that demand returned to pre-Covid levels for the first time since the beginning of the crisis. January demand also showed strong month-to-month growth over December 2020 levels. 

Global demand, measured in cargo ton-kilometres (CTK), was up 1.1% compared to January 2019 and 3% in comparison to December 2020. All regions saw month-to-month improvement in air cargo demand, with North America (27.4% of world share) and Africa (2.1%) the strongest performers, increasing by 11.7% and 21.2%, respectively.

Due to new capacity cuts on the passenger side, measured in available cargo ton-kilometres (ACTK),global capacity was down 5% compared to December 2020, the first monthly decline since April 2020. Falls in ACTK were registered by North America (-6.8%), Europe (-19.9%) and Latin America (-30.7%).

However, the IATA release states that conditions in the manufacturing sector remain robust despite new Covid-19 outbreaks that dragged down passenger demand.