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News 2023

August 2023 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis 
Published October 3. IATA Economic Reports.

Air cargo demand increases YoY


  • Global cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) increased by 1.5% year-on-year (YoY) in August, the first annual growth in 19 months since February 2022. Industry CTKs were 1.3% lower than their 2019 levels.
  • Air cargo capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), continued its double-digit growth. ACTKs were up 12.2% YoY, driven by the sustained expansion of belly capacity in the summer season.
  • Air cargo’s historic tie with industrial production and cross-border trade trended back to realignment. However, the sustained annual contraction of trade remains a worrying signal to air cargo demand.
  • Inflation in the US continued to increase for the second month in a row, after 13 months of decline. Although China’s CPI growth reverted to positive from the July level, the country recorded negative PPI in August for the 16th consecutive month.
  • Airlines in the Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, and Middle East regions registered annual growth in their international CTKs in August, owing to the improved traffic in major trade lanes.

African airlines report weak performance in August

African airlines had the weakest performance in August 2023, with a 4.7% decline in cargo volumes compared to August 2022. This was a significant decrease in performance compared to July (+2.3%). Notably, Africa–Asia routes declined by 1.1% in August following an 11.2% growth in July. Capacity was 3.8% above August 2022 levels.

Industry CTKs achieved annual growth in August

The industry-wide air cargo demand, measured by cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), stood at 20.7 billion in August, with seasonally-adjusted (SA) CTKs at 20.8 billion. Compared with the previous year, global CTKs grew by 1.5% year-on-year (YoY), which is the first annual growth seen by the industry since February 2022. However, industry CTKs remained 1.3% lower than their pre-pandemic level in 2019. The positive annual growth in global CTKs is also a result of a lower baseline in 2022. Download the full report...