African airlines reported a decrease in demand of 1.4 percent for global and international demand in 2022 compared to 2021 and an increase in capacity of 0.3 percent (-0.2% for international operations), according to the Air Cargo Market Analysis by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

"Compared to 2019 (pre-Covid levels), demand was 8.3 percent above (+9.4 percent for international operations) and capacity was down 15.3 percent (-14.2 percent for international operations). In December, airlines in the region posted a 10 percent decrease in demand for both global and international operations compared to 2021. Capacity grew 1.3 percent (+0.2 percent for international operations) during the same period.”

Global full-year demand in 2022, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), was down 8 percent compared to 2021 (-8.2 percent for international operations). Compared to 2019, it was down 1.6 percent (both global and international).

"Capacity in 2022, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres (ACTKs), was 3 percent above 2021 (+4.5 percent for international operations). Compared to 2019 (pre-Covid) levels, capacity declined by 8.2 percent(-9.0 percent for international operations).

"December saw a softening in performance: global demand was 15.3 percent below 2021 levels (-15.8 percent for international operations). Global capacity was 2.2 percent below 2021 levels (‑0.5 percent for international operations). This was the tenth consecutive monthly contraction compared to the 2021 performance."

“In the face of significant political and economic uncertainties, air cargo performance declined compared to the extraordinary levels of 2021," says Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA. " That brought air cargo demand to 1.6 percent below 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels. The continuing measures by key governments to fight inflation by cooling economies are expected to result in a further decline in cargo volumes in 2023 to -5.6 percent compared to 2019. It will, however, take time for these measures to bite into cargo rates. So, the good news for air cargo is that average yields and total revenue for 2023 should remain well above what they were pre-pandemic. That should provide some respite in what is likely to be a challenging trading environment in the year ahead."

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