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IATA data shows that global air cargo decline narrowed in May

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Recently, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released global air cargo data for May, showing that the decline in the air cargo market is narrowing. However, due to the shortage of abdominal cabin business caused by the suspension of most passenger aircraft, the capacity still cannot meet the demand.


In May, global air cargo demand (calculated in terms of CTKs per ton of freight) decreased by 20.3% year-on-year (international market decreased by 21.5%), which was an improvement from the 25.6% drop in April; May freight capacity (according to available The calculation of freight ton-km ACTKs) decreased by 34.7% year-on-year (32.2% in the international market), slightly slower than the 41.6% decline in April; the load factor (CLF) climbed 10.4 percentage points, compared with the April increase (12.8 percentage points) ) Compared to a slight decrease.


Affected by the new coronary pneumonia epidemic crisis, most passenger aircraft's abdominal cargo transportation business was suspended. In May, the capacity of international aviation belly cabin decreased by 66.4% year-on-year, slightly better than the performance in April (down 75.1%). With the increase in the utilization rate of all cargo aircraft, the capacity increased by 25.2%, which offset the impact of the lack of capacity in the abdominal cabin of the cargo aircraft to a certain extent.


Alexandre de Juniac, President and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, said that compared with 2019, the demand for air cargo dropped by more than 20% this year. The grounding of most passenger planes resulted in a 34.7% drop in freight capacity. The gap between supply and demand shows that passenger transport can not meet the freight demand. Although the prospect of air cargo is stronger than passenger transport, the future is full of uncertainty. As some economies restart, the global economy is picking up from April's lows, but it is not yet possible to predict the duration and depth of the recession.


Specific to the region, in May, the air cargo volume in all regions of the world declined. European and Middle Eastern airlines experienced the largest year-on-year drop in freight volume, followed by Latin America and Asia Pacific. Compared with other regions, African and North American airlines experienced the smallest declines.


European airlines' international cargo volume fell by 29.7% in May, the largest decline among all regions. Manufacturing output is limited, and the suspension of production by mid-May was one of the reasons for the weak performance.


Middle Eastern airlines’ international cargo volume in May fell by 25% year-on-year, a significant improvement compared with April (a 36.2% decline). Although some airlines in the region have retained a certain amount of freight capacity, the freight volume of all major routes is very low, and the market will still have time to improve.


Latin American airlines’ international demand fell 22.1% year-on-year, a significant improvement from the April decline (40.7%). Due to strict blockade measures, the outbreak crisis is particularly challenging for airlines based in Latin America.


Compared with the same period last year, Asia-Pacific airlines' international air cargo demand fell by 21.3% in May. Compared with the decline in April (25.2%), the decline has narrowed. The seasonally adjusted freight volume also rebounded slightly in May and has now recovered to 75% of the pre-crisis crisis of the new coronary pneumonia. The transportation of personal protective equipment (PPE) helps to increase the freight volume of airlines in the region.


The decline of African airlines in May was the smallest among all regions, and signs of continued rebound were obvious, with international demand falling by only 6.3% year-on-year. Among them, the Asian and African markets performed particularly strongly in May, falling only 0.4%. North American airlines' international cargo demand fell by 9% year-on-year in May. The single-digit decline was the region with the smallest decline except for Africa. The smaller decline is due to the shorter and less stringent suspension time in some regions, and the demand for the Asia-North America route decreased by only 0.4% year-on-year.