KUALA LUMPUR (June 8): Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo increase by 9.2% in April 2021 compared with the pre-Covid-19 level in April 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) April 2021 data for global air cargo markets.
The data also revealed that the international capacity remained constrained in the region, declining by 18.7% versus April 2019.
“As was also the case in March 2021, the region’s airlines reported the highest international load factor at 77.5%,” it said in a statement today.
Meanwhile, IATA said the global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), was up 12% compared with April 2019 and 7.8% compared with March 2021, while 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, while airlines in all other regions (except for Latin America) also supported the growth.
“Capacity remains 9.7% below pre-Covid-19 levels (April 2019) due to the ongoing grounding of passenger aircraft and airlines continue to use dedicated freighters to plug the lack of available belly capacity,” it said.
According to the association, 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%.
IATA director-general Willie Walsh said that air cargo continues to be the good news story for the air transport sector.
“Demand is up 12% on pre-crisis levels and yields are solid. Some regions are outperforming the global trend, most notably, carriers in North America, the Middle East and Africa.
“The strong air cargo performance, however, is not universal. The recovery for carriers in the Latin American region, for example, is stalled,” he said.