Global air cargo demand declines 6.4% in June as new export orders fall, Iata says

Demand in the first six months of 2022 rose 2.2% from pre-Covid levels in the first half of 2019

United Arab Emmirates - Abu Dhabi - Feb. 16 - 2009 : Maximo Air Cargo worker try to carry up a horse into a transport box at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. 13 european horses are travelling to Frace after participate in horse race in Abu Dhabi.( Jaime Puebla / The National )  *** Local Caption ***  JP07 Horses.jpgJP07 Horses.jpg
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Global air cargo demand declined 6.4 per cent year-on-year in June as new export orders fell and the Russia-Ukraine war limited freight capacity, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has said.

Freight demand during the first six months of the year fell 4.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2021 but rose 2.2 per cent from pre-Covid levels in the first half of 2019, the aviation trade body said in its monthly cargo performance report on Wednesday.

"Air cargo demand over the first half of 2022 was 2.2 per cent above pre-Covid levels ... that’s a strong performance, particularly considering continuing supply chain constraints and the loss of capacity due to the war in Ukraine," said Willie Walsh, Iata's director general.

"Current economic uncertainties have had little impact on demand for air cargo, but developments will need to be closely monitored in the second half."

Air cargo has been a rare bright spot for the airline industry during two years of the pandemic that has decimated passenger travel.

Etihad Airways on Wednesday confirmed an initial commitment with Airbus for seven of the Toulouse-based plane maker's A350 freighters, as it expects the cargo market to remain strong.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline signed a letter of intent to order the cargo aircraft at the Singapore Airshow in February.

African airlines' cargo volumes increased by 5.7 per cent in June compared to the same month in 2021.

Airlines in Africa have shown optimism by introducing additional capacity.

Capacity was 10.3 per cent above June 2021 levels.

Demand for the first half of the year was 2.9 per cent above 2021 levels and half-year capacity was 6.9 per cent above the same period in 2021.

Airlines in the Middle East recorded a 10.8 per cent year-on-year decrease in cargo volumes in June, the Iata report showed.

"Significant benefits from traffic being redirected to avoid flying over Russia failed to materialise," Iata said.

Capacity during the month was up 6.7 per cent compared to June 2021.

Demand for regional airlines for the first half of 2022 dropped 9.3 per cent below 2021 levels, the weakest first-half performance of all regions, Iata said.

Updated: August 03, 2022, 5:16 PM