IATA reports improving air cargo market in June

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Air cargo volume declines narrowed to their lowest level of the year in June with hopes that lower levels of inflation could aid economic recovery.

The latest figures from IATA show that in June air cargo demand decreased by 3.4% year on year, while capacity was up 9.7% and the average load factor was down 5.8 percentage points at 43.2%.

The percentage fall in volumes was the lowest level since February 2022 and compares with a fall of 8.1% over the first six months of the year.

The capacity increase for the month was also lower than the double-digit percentage increases recorded between March and May, reflecting strategic capacity adjustments airlines are making amid a weakened demand environment, IATA said.

IATA director general Willie Walsh said: “We remain hopeful that the difficult trading conditions for air cargo will moderate as inflation eases in major economies. This, in turn, could encourage the central banks to loosen the money supply, which could stimulate greater economic activity.”

Looking at performance indicators, IATA said that global cross-border trade decreased by 2.4% year on year in May, reflecting the “cooling demand environment and challenging macroeconomic conditions”.

And June saw both the manufacturing output Purchasing Managers Index or PMI (49.2) and new export orders PMI (47.1) below the 50 mark, indicating a decline in global manufacturing production and exports.

Looking at regional performance, Asia Pacific airlines’ cargo volumes decreased by 3.6% in June “mainly owing to weak demand on within-Asia markets”.

IATA added that the Asia-North America trade lane saw improved performance.

North American carriers reported a 6.5% drop, the fourth month in a row as carriers from the region had the weakest performance.

“This was, however, an improvement compared to May (-8.6%),” the airline association pointed out.

European carriers experienced a 2.8% decrease in cargo volumes in June, which was an improvement on May and helped by transatlantic performance.

Middle Eastern carriers posted a 0.5% increase in cargo volumes in June as the Middle East-Asia and Middle East-Europe route areas saw annual growth.

Latin American carriers had the strongest performance in June, with a 7.3% increase in cargo volumes.

African airlines posted a 2.8% decrease in demand for the month.

Air cargo declines continue to narrow in May

Air cargo demand decline slows down in April

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]