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IATA Reports Insufficient Capacity for Air Cargo

The International Air Transport Association has raised concerns that capacity for air cargo remains “insufficient”, despite a steady recovery after lock down

Published on September 29, 2020

Singapore Airlines Cargo Jet

After a turbulent first half of 2020 for air cargo, the latest IATA (International Air Transport Association) report for August shows that the sector still faces challenges.

Analysing global air freight data from August 2020, IATA report that although demand has crept up since lock down was eased, "levels remain depressed compared to 2019". Measured in 'cargo tonne-kilometers' (CTKs), global demand for air freight was 12.6% lower in August than in the same month in 2019. One of the contributing factors is limited capacity. According to IATA, global capacity, measured in 'available cargo tonne-kilometers' (ACTKs), "shrank by 29.4% in August (‑31.6% for international operations) compared to the previous year".

Cargo via passenger services have been particularly badly impacted, with regulations on international travel leading to fewer passenger services, leading to less "belly capacity" for international air cargo. IATA report that "Belly capacity for international air cargo was 67% below the levels of August 2019 owing to the withdrawal of passenger services amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

Assessing the situation, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO, said that "The peak season for air cargo will start in the coming weeks, but with severe capacity constraints shippers may look to alternatives such as ocean and rail to keep the global economy moving".

For the full report and data, go to www.iata.org/en/pressroom/pr/2020-09-29-01/.

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