Air freight produces strongest first half-year growth in four years

June report reveals an 8% boost to air cargo market

As noted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), released data for global air cargo markets for June showed a 9.9% improvement on pre-Covid-19 performance (June 2019). This propelled first half-year air cargo growth to 8%, which represents the market's strongest first-half performance since 2017, when the sector posted 10.2% year-on-year growth.

Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), was up 9.9% compared to June 2019 (pre-pandemic).

Interestingly enough, there are a few regional variations when it comes to performance. North American carriers contributed 5.9 percentage points (ppts) to the 9.9% growth rate in June. Middle East carriers contributed 2.1 ppts; European airlines, 1.6 ppts; African airlines, 0.5 ppts; and Asia-Pacific carriers, 0.3 ppts. Latin American carriers did not contribute to the growth, removing 0.5 ppts off the total.

And overall capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), came in at 10.8% below pre-Covid-19 levels (June 2019), as a result of the ongoing grounding of passenger aircraft. There was also a 29.7% increase in dedicated freighter capacity.