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  L      2022

In brief

  L      2022

February 2022 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis

Published April 6, 2022. IATA Economic Reports.

Air cargo volumes up


  • Industry-wide cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) increased by 2.9% year-on-year in February. Accounting for the usual volatility surrounding the Chinese New Year and taking January and February together, CTKs were 2.7% above the same period in 2021. While below the growth rates seen in late 2021, it is nevertheless encouraging that cargo traffic is still growing despite the most challenging backdrop.
  • February saw improvements in air cargo traffic thanks to reduced disruptions from Omicron outside of Asia, as well as the end of Chinese New Year. However, an Omicron wave spread in China and certain other Asian countries in February and March, and the war in Ukraine is having an impact on air cargo.
  • Lockdowns and factory closures in Asia, sanctions related to the war, and shortages of crucial inputs are driving prices higher, and economic activity and trade lower. March therefore is likely to be a challenging month for air cargo.

Africa airlines record improved performance
African airlines saw cargo volumes increase by 4.6% in February 2022 compared to February 2021 and their cargo capacity was 8.2% above February 2021 levels - outperformed all other regions globally in terms of increased demand for air freight shipments in February.

Growth in air cargo continues despite war in Ukraine

Industry-wide cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) rose 2.9% year-on-year (YoY) in February 2022, compared to a 2.4% increase in January. Global CTKs were 11.9% above their February 2019 level. Although the conflict in Ukraine has impacted air cargo outcomes, it was partly offset by a confluence of temporary factors that include Chinese New Year and reduced disruptions from Omicron outside of Asia.
    Seasonally adjusted (SA) CTKs rose by 5.2% monthon-month (MoM) to a new all-time high. That followed a 4.2% drop in January. Such volatility is common around the Chinese New Year (1 Feb in 2022), as the period is not well captured in seasonal adjustments. Averaging January and February, CTKs were 1.7% below the level seen in December 2021, and the year thus started softly for air cargo. In year-on-year terms, January and February combined were up 2.7%, a notable slow-down from December’s 8.7% YoY rise...Download the full report.