Cargo volumes decline marginally for African airlines in Sept
Strong growth in demand on Africa-Asia trade lane (+12.8%), capacity was 2.7% above September 2022 levels.
African airlines saw their air cargo volumes decline marginally (0.1 percent) in September 2023 despite the strong growth in demand on the Africa-Asia trade lane (+12.8 percent). This was an improvement in performance compared to August (-3.5 percent). Capacity was 2.7 percent above September 2022 levels.
Global air cargo demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), increased by 1.9 percent compared to September 2022 levels (+1.6 percent for international operations).
Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres (ACTKs), was up 12.1 percent compared to September 2022 (+11 percent for international operations), according to the latest update from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
"Air cargo eked out modest growth (1.9%) in September despite falling trade volumes and high jet fuel prices," says Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA. "That clearly shows the strength of air cargo’s value proposition. With the key export order and manufacturing PMIs hovering near positive territory, we can be cautiously optimistic for a strong year-end peak season."
September regional performance
Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes increase by 7.7 percent in September 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. This was a significant improvement in performance compared to August (+4.6 percent). Carriers in the region benefited from growth on three major trade lanes: Europe-Asia (+9.6 percent), Middle East-Asia (+7 percent) and Africa-Asia (+12.8 percent). Available capacity for the region’s airlines increased by 30.5 percent as more belly capacity came online from the passenger side of the business.
North American carriers had the weakest performance in September with a 2.2 percent decrease in cargo volumes. This was a decline in performance compared to August (-1.4 percent). Although contractions in the North America-Asia trade lane narrowed (from -4.3 percent in August to -1.8 percent in September) and the North America-Europe market stabilised, it declined (-2.5 percent) for the second month in a row. Capacity increased moderately (0.2 percent) compared to September 2022.
European carriers saw cargo volumes decline by 1.5 percent in September compared to the same month in 2022. This was a weaker performance than in August (-0.6 percent). Carriers in the region suffered from further contractions within the Europe market (-5.7 percent in September vs -5.2 percent in August). Capacity increased 4.7 percent in September.
Middle Eastern carriers had the strongest performance in September 2023 with a 2.5 percent year-on-year increase in cargo volumes. Carriers in the region benefited from growth in the Middle East–Asia (+7 percent) and Middle East–Europe markets (+3.3 percent). Capacity increased 16.1 percent compared to September 2022.
Latin American carriers experienced a 2.3 percent increase in cargo volumes compared to September 2022. This was a significant decrease in performance compared to the previous month (+6.2 percent). Capacity in September was up 14.4 percent compared to the same month in 2022.