GLOBAL AIR CARGO DEMAND GROWTH OF 1.9% IN SEPTEMBER
On 8 November, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported a 1.9% growth in global air cargo demand in September 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, with international operations experiencing a more substantial growth of 6%.
Available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs) increased by 12.1% compared to the previous year, notably driven by a 31.5% rise in international belly capacity. Despite this growth, the manufacturing output Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) and new export orders PMI saw slight improvements in September. Fluctuations in consumer prices were observed, with the US experiencing stabilised annual growth of 3.7% in September while European and Japanese consumer price inflation slowed. Jet fuel prices also played a role in shaping the air cargo landscape, with an average price of USD 131.0 per barrel in September, marking a significant 43.1% increase from May 2023.
In terms of European carriers' performance in September, there was a 1.5% decline in air cargo volumes compared to the same period in 2022. The region's carriers faced further contractions in the within Europe market but offset some declines with gains from the expansion in the Middle East-Europe trade lane. Overall, capacity increased by 4.7% in September 2023 compared to the previous year.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, acknowledged the resilience of air cargo, highlighting its modest growth in September despite falling trade volumes and high jet fuel prices. He expressed cautious optimism for a robust year-end peak season, citing positive indicators such as key export orders and manufacturing PMIs.