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Numbers point to a 2.9% boost over pre-pandemic records.
Data for February 2023 global air cargo markets shows that air cargo demand rose above pre-pandemic levels, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Global demand, which is measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell 7.5% compared to February 2022 (-8.3% for international operations). This was half the rate of annual decline seen in the previous two months (-14.9% and -15.3% respectively).
The demand for air cargo was 2.9% higher than that of pre-pandemic levels (February 2019)—marking the first time it has surpassed pre-pandemic levels in eight months. Capacity was also up 8.6% compared to February 2022.
”The story of air cargo in February is one of slowing declines,” says notes Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “ … An optimistic eye could see the start of an improvement trend that leads to market stabilization and a return to more normal demand patterns after dramatic ups-and-downs in recent years.”