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Nonetheless, capacity is up nearly 6% above pre-pandemic levels.
May 2023 air cargo numbers provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) are showing “weak market conditions,” as global demand, which is measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell 5.2% compared to May of last year (-6.0% for international operations).
Capacity, measured available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), rose 14.5% compared to May 2022, mainly driven by belly capacity, which increases as demand in the passenger business recovers. Capacity is now 5.9% above May 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.
“Trading conditions for air cargo continue to be challenging with a 5.2% fall in demand and several economic indicators pointing towards weakness. The second half of the year, however, should bring some improvements,” comments Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “As inflation moderates in many markets, it is widely expected that central bank rate hikes will taper. This should help stimulate economic activity with a positive impact on demand for air cargo.”