Air cargo demand to continue rising, IATA affirms

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Global export orders are rising at a substantial rate, prompting to strong cargo volumes and a rise in demand, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported on September 9, 2020.

According to IATA’s statement, global demand for air cargo was much more robust than air travel, standing at a decreased 13.5% of the year-on-year basis in July 2020. In contrast, the global passenger traffic demand was at a negative 80% in the same period.

While many regional air cargo market segments are rapidly recovering, with North Atlantic being the lowest at a 30% decrease in year-on-year demand, the Pacific market thrives at a positive 3.7% compared to 2019.

The report also shows that both consumer and manufacturer business confidence has been on a rapid rise since the beginning of the summer of 2020. In turn, the number of export orders is increasing sharply, and so is air cargo demand.

At the same time, the analysis reveals that freighters were doing most of the heavy lifting when it came to air cargo transport. Usually, air freighters share a 50% load with widebody passenger aircraft that carry shipments in their belly holds. However, due to the sharp decrease in air traffic demand, air cargo continues to be predominantly transported by freighters.

The rise of cargo-aircraft popularity is further evident by the fact that its utilization rose by almost 2 hours per day since February 2020. This means that freighters are, on average, flown two extra hours per day. For a single aircraft, that is over 700 hours per year.


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