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New IATA air freight data released

January 8, 2021

Latest numbers indicate a rise in volume but decrease in capacity

November data for global air freight markets showed that freight volumes improved over October, but remain low when compared to 2019, according to the latest numbers from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Capacity remains limited, due to the loss of available belly cargo space, as passenger aircrafts are at a standstill.

Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), was down 6.6% from last year's November numbers (-7.7% for international operations). This was consistent with the 6.2% year-on-year drop in October. However, the year-on-year decline is skewed, as November 2019 saw an increase in demand from the US-China trade war.

Global capacity, which is measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), shrank by 20% in November (‑21.3% for international operations) compared to 2019, making it almost three times larger than the contraction in demand. The capacity issues can be attributed to a 53% decrease in belly capacity. This has been partially offset by a 20% boost in freighter capacity.