IATA observed V-shaped recovery for cargo in Middle East

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Etihad Cargo
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In its latest report on the status quo of the aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) observed that Middle Eastern carriers have witnessed a “V-shaped recovery” in air cargo volumes in the month of September.

In its report, the body stated that while regional carriers reported a decline of 2.5 percent in year-on-year international cargo volumes in September, those numbers were a significant improvement from the 6.7 percent fall in August.

Even though the region was the worst affected by the pandemic, aggressive capacity additions by the regional carriers post the peak of the crisis lead to a V-shaped recovery which is still below par compared to the 2019 levels. Whereas, the international capacity witnessed a decrease of 23.5 percent.

Global Demand

The global demand which is measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) was 8 percent lower than previous-year levels in September (-9.9% percent for international operations). Yet, the number was better than the 12.1 percent year-on-year drop recorded in August. The month-on-month demand noticeably grew at 3.7 percent in September.

Global Capacity 

Global capacity which is measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), decreased by 25.2 percent in September (28 percent for international operations) compared to the previous year.

It is evident that global capacity decrease was three times larger than the global demand suggesting the severe lack of capacity to meet the necessary demand in the market.

IATA observed strong regional variations emerging with North American and African carriers who reported a year-on-year increase in demand (+1.5 percent and +9.7 percent respectively), while all other regions remained negative compared to a year earlier.

IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac acknowledged that “Air cargo volumes are down on 2019, but they are a world apart from the extreme difficulties in the passenger business.

For air cargo, 92 percent of the business is still there, whereas about 90 percent of international passenger traffic has disappeared.

“Favourable indicators for the peak year-end season will support the continued recovery in demand. Already North American and African carriers are reporting demand gains on 2019.
The challenge continues to be on capacity. As carriers adjust schedules to reflect falling passenger demand amid the resurgence of Covid-19, valuable belly capacity will be lost when it is needed the most.”