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In brief

  L      2022

April 2022 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis

Published June 8, 2022. IATA Economic Reports.

Air cargo volumes fall


  • April industry-wide cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) were 11.2% lower than a year ago, and the seasonally adjusted volumes contracted for the second month in row, 2.7% below the level seen in March.
  • The main reasons behind the downturn are the Omicron wave spreading in China and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war both of which cause supply chain and capacity issues that are limiting the movement of air cargo.
  • Aside from these extraordinary events, airlines are adding to their air cargo capacity in spite of widespread inflation, pointing to a degree of optimism amidst the challenges. The coming months will be critical in terms of how the various factors influencing air cargo will evolve.
  • All regions except for Latin America posted declines in April compared with a year ago, with the most notable drop seen among Asia Pacific and European airlines, down 15.8% and 14.4% respectively.
  • Latin America bucked the trend with a strong 40.9% increase on a year ago, after large additions to capacity and services which enabled the satisfying of pent-up demand for cargo to and from the region.
  • As lockdown restrictions ease in China and capacity increases in Asia and elsewhere, we might see improved air cargo volumes in May.

African airlines cargo volumes decrease
African airlines saw cargo volumes decrease by 6.3% in April 2022 compared to April 2021. This was significantly slower than the growth recorded the previous month (3.1%). Capacity was 1.5% below April 2021 levels.

CTKs fall further in April as extraordinary events hit supply chains

Industry-wide cargo Industry-wide tonne-kilometers (CTKs) were down 11.2% in April year-on-year (YoY). This is a deepening of the March decline, 4.8% YoY, signaling a continuation of supply chain and capacity issues that are impacting air cargo operations. 
    Seasonally adjusted (SA) March air cargo volumes fell further in April, dropping 2.7% compared with March (MoM). This is the second consecutive fall in air cargo volumes. While the MoM volumes can show significant volatility, the challenges already mentioned corroborate the negative development we saw in April.
    The war in Ukraine led to a fall in the capacity used to serve Europe, as several airlines based in Ukraine and Russia were crucial carriers in the region...Download the full report.