IATA: May air cargo shows slight pickup amidst continuing capacity crunch

eanwhile, IATA said the cargo load factor rose 10.4 percentage points in May,=.— Reuters pic
eanwhile, IATA said the cargo load factor rose 10.4 percentage points in May,=.— Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The global air freight markets in May has shown a slight improvement in the air cargo market but capacity remained unable to meet the demand as a result of the loss of belly cargo operations on passenger aircraft that have been parked, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The trade association for the world’s airlines said global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), fell by 20.3 per cent in May compared to the previous year.

“That is an improvement from the 25.6 per cent year-on-year drop recorded in April,” it said in a statement today.

Global capacity, measured in available CTKs (ACTKs), shrank by 34.7 per cent in May compared to the previous year, a slight deceleration from the 41.6 per cent year-on-year drop in April.

IATA said belly capacity for international air cargo declined by 66.4 per cent in May compared to the previous year due to the withdrawal of passenger services amidst the COVID-19 crisis, a slight improvement from the 75.1 per cent year-on-year decline in April. 

This was partially offset by a 25.2 per cent increase in capacity through expanded use of freighter aircraft.

Meanwhile, IATA said the cargo load factor rose 10.4 percentage points in May, a slight decrease from the 12.8-percentage point rise in April.

However, it said the extent of the increase suggested that there is still pent-up demand for air cargo which cannot be met due to the continued grounding of many passenger flights.

“Global export orders continue to fall but at a slower pace. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) tracking new manufacturing export orders improved from the trough seen in April despite remaining in contractionary territory,” it said.

Director-general and chief executive officer Alexandre de Juniac said the gap between demand and capacity showed the challenge in finding the space on the aircraft still flying to get goods to market.

“For that, the prospects for air cargo remains stronger than for the passenger business but the future is very uncertain.

“Economic activity is picking up from April lows as some economies unlock. But predicting the length and depth of the recession remains difficult,” he added. — Bernama

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