Air cargo capacity surpasses pre-COVID levels in April: IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for April 2023 global air cargo markets, showing capacity (measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers, ACTK) was up 13.4 per cent compared to April 2022 and 3.2 per cent compared to April 2019, marking the first time in three years that the capacity has surpassed pre-COVID levels. “The strong uptick is primarily driven by belly capacity as demand in the passenger business recovers. Adjusting for this, freighter capacity declined 2.3 per cent. Preighter operations ceased in March after 2.5 years of continuous activity,” states the release. Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, said, “The air cargo industry is adjusting itself to the implications of the recovery in passenger demand that brings with it an expansion of belly capacity. Preighter operations stopped in March and freighter services were scaled back by 2.3 per cent in April.” In April 2023 global air cargo markets also showed a continued, but slower, decline against the previous year’s demand performance. Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell 6.6 per cent compared to April 2022 (-7.0 per cent for international operations). This decline was an improvement over the previous month’s performance (-7.6 per cent).