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Air cargo demand increases 10.8% in December and closes 2023 close to 2022 levels: IATA

He International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air cargo markets showing air cargo demand rebounded in 2023 with particularly strong performance in the fourth quarter despite economic uncertainties. Demand for the full year reached a level slightly lower than in 2022 and 2019.

Full-year global demand in 2023, measured in freight tonne kilometers (CTK), decreased by 1.9 percent compared to 2022 (-2.2 percent for international operations). Compared to 2019, it was down 3.6 percent (-3.8 for international operations).
Capacity in 2023, measured in available cargo tonne kilometers (ACTK), was 11.3 percent higher than in 2022 (+9.6 percent for international operations). Compared to 2019 levels (pre-COVID), capacity increased by 2.5 percent (0.0 percent for international operations).

December 2023 saw exceptionally strong performance: global demand was 10.8 percent above 2022 levels (+11.5 percent for international operations). This was the strongest annual growth performance in the past two years. Global capacity was 13.6 percent above 2022 levels (+14.1 percent for international operations).

Some indicators to look out for include:

  • Global cross-border trade recorded growth for the third consecutive month in October, reversing its previous downward trend.
  • December inflation in both the United States and the EU, measured by the corresponding Consumer Price Indices (CPI), remained below 3.5 percent year-on-year. However, China’s CPI indicated deflation for the third consecutive month, raising concerns about an economic slowdown.
  • Both manufacturing production and Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMIs) of new export orders (two leading indicators of global air cargo demand) continued to hover below the 50 mark in December, common markers of contraction.

“Despite political and economic challenges, in 2023 air cargo markets regained ground lost in 2022 after the extraordinary COVID peak in 2021. Although annual demand was below pre-COVID levels by 3.6 percent, the significant strengthening in the last quarter is a sign. that markets are stabilizing towards more normal demand patterns. That puts the industry on a very solid footing for success in 2024. But with continued, and in some cases intensified, instability in geopolitical and economic forces, little should be taken for granted in the coming months.”

saying Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA.

Middle East shippers reported a demand increase of 1.6 percent for global and international demand in 2023 compared to 2022 and a capacity increase of 13.5 percent (+13.6 percent for international operations). In December, airlines in the region recorded an 18.3 percent increase in demand for global and international operations compared to 2022. Capacity increased by 17.7 percent (+17.8 percent for international operations ) during the same period.

News source: Emirates News Agency

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