According to data for the month of June released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) global air cargo markets registered the smallest year-over-year contraction in demand since February 2022.
Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers, fell 3.4% in June compared to June 2022 (-3.7% for international operations). For the half year, demand slid 8.1% compared to the January-June period of 2022 (-8.7% for international operations). However, demand in June was only 2.4% below June 2019 levels (pre-pandemic).
Capacity, as measured by available cargo tonne-kilometers , rose 9.7% compared to June 2022, which was a slower rate compared to the double-digit growth recorded between March and May. This reflects strategic capacity adjustments airlines are making amid a weakened demand environment. Capacity for the first half of 2023 was up 9.9% compared to a year ago. Capacity is now 3.7% above June 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.
“We remain hopeful that the difficult trading conditions for air cargo will moderate as inflation eases in major economies. This, in turn, could encourage the central banks to loosen the money supply, which could stimulate greater economic activity,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.