AIR CARGO DEMAND OUTPERFORMING PRE-COVID LEVELS
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released April 2021 data for global air cargo markets showing that global air cargo demand continued to outperform pre-COVID levels, with demand up 12% compared to April 2019 and 7.8% compared to March 2021. Seasonally adjusted demand is now 5% higher than the pre-crisis August 2018 peak. The strong performance was led by North American carriers contributing 7.5 percentage points to the 12% growth rate in April. Airlines in all other regions except for Latin America also supported the growth.
Simultaneously, the data shows that capacity remains 9.7% below pre-COVID-19 levels (April 2019) due to the ongoing grounding of passenger aircraft. Airlines continue to use dedicated freighters to fill the lack of available belly capacity. International capacity from dedicated freighters rose 26.2% in April 2021 compared to the same month in 2019, while belly-cargo capacity dropped by 38.5%.