02 February 2024


On 31 January, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported data on the global air freight markets, revealing a robust recovery in air cargo demand in 2023, particularly in the fourth quarter.

Global full-year demand in 2023, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), decreased by 1.9% compared to 2022 (-2.2% for international operations). Capacity in 2023, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), was 11.3% above 2022 (+9.6% for international operations). December 2023 saw an exceptionally strong performance, with global demand increasing by 10.8% above 2022 levels (+11.5% for international operations), which was the strongest annual growth performance over the past two years.

European carriers reported a 3.9% decrease in demand for 2023 compared to 2022 (-4.1% for international operations). During the same period, airlines experienced a 4.5% increase in capacity for both global and international operations. In December, European airlines demonstrated an 8.6% increase in demand (+8.7% for international operations) compared to 2022, while capacity increased by 7.4% (+7.5% for international operations) during the same period. The ongoing impact of the war in Ukraine continued to affect airlines in the region significantly.

Mr Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General, emphasised that despite political and economic challenges, 2023 air cargo markets regain ground lost in 2022. He added that the significant strengthening observed in the last quarter is a sign that markets are stabilising. However, he stressed that the current geopolitical instability suggests that caution should be exercised in the months ahead.

Source: IATA