In its latest market analysis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported a strong performance in June 2021 and indicators point to even more growth on air cargo volumes in the coming months. Industry-wide cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs) rose by 9.9% in June 2021 compared to June 2019 Year-to-date, air cargo growth has reached 8%, its strongest first half of the year performance in 4 years.
IATA has highlighted the need to re-establish passenger network connectivity to boost bellyhold capacity as demand for goods remains strong with businesses having to quickly refill their stocks, and typically use air cargo to do so.” Shippers and businesses are likely to face strong demand when the peak cargo season starts around October.
Port congestion and ongoing service disruptions are also helping push forwarders and shippers toward the more dependable air cargo as a cost competitive mode of transport. Scheduling reliability of ocean carriers had dropped to around 40% in May compared to 70-80%
pre-COVID. Air cargo prices which were more than 80% higher than pre-crisis values in June have also become relatively lower in comparison to skyrocketing ocean rates.
“Air cargo is doing brisk business as the global economy continues its recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. With first-half demand 8% above pre-crisis levels, air cargo is a revenue lifeline for many airlines as they struggle with border closures that continue to devastate the international passenger business. Importantly, the strong first-half performance looks set to continue,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
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