IATA releases February air cargo numbers

April 8, 2021

Most recent figures show air freight is outperforming last year’s pre-Covid marks

Newly released data from February 2021 for global air cargo markets showed that air cargo demand continued to outperform pre-Covid levels, with demand up 9% over February 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). February demand also showed strong month-on-month growth over January 2021 levels. Volumes have now returned to 2018 levels seen before the US-China trade war.

Global demand, which is measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), was up 9% compared to February 2019 and +1.5% compared to January 2021. All regions, except for Latin America, saw an improvement in air cargo demand compared to pre-Covid levels, with North America and Africa being the strongest performers.

The recovery in global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), has stalled due to new capacity cuts on the passenger side, as governments are tightening travel restrictions as a result of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases. Capacity shrank 14.9% compared to February 2019.