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IATA: Airlines See 4th Straight Month Of Double-Digit Growth In Cargo

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced a 10.3% increase in global airline cargo demand for March 2024 over March 2023, marking the fourth straight month of double-digit growth.

International operations demand saw a rise of 11.4%. Cargo capacity also saw gains, with a 7.3% increase overall and a 10.5% rise in international operations compared to last year’s same month.

“Air cargo demand grew by 10.3% over the previous March. This contributed to a strong first quarter performance which slightly exceeded even the exceptionally strong 2021 first quarter performance during the COVID crisis. With global cross-border trade and industrial production continuing to show a moderate upward trend, 2024 is shaping up to be a solid year for air cargo,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Global Economic Factors Impacting Airline Cargo Demand

Recent factors in the global economic environment impacted airline cargo demand:

  • Global cross-border trade and industrial production slightly increased in February, with respective rises of 1.2% and 1.6%.
  • The manufacturing output Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in March, signaling expansion, though export orders PMI was slightly below the growth threshold at 49.5.
  • Diverse inflation trends were noted across different regions in March: inflation decreased in the EU (2.6%) and Japan (2.7%), increased in the US (3.5%), and there was a minor deflation of -0.01% in China.

March Airline Cargo Performance By Region

March Air Cargo Demand Overview

  • Asia-Pacific Airlines: Demand grew 14.3%, significantly increasing on Asia-Europe and within Asia routes. Both demand and capacity grew by 14.3%.
  • North American Carriers: Demand increased modestly by 0.9%, making it the weakest regional performance. Capacity fell by 1.9%.
  • European Carriers: Saw a 10.0% rise in demand, with notable growth in intra-European and Europe–Middle East routes. Capacity was up by 8.0%.
  • Middle Eastern Carriers: Led with a 19.9% surge in demand, particularly strong between the Middle East and Europe and the Middle East and Asia. Capacity increased by 10.6%.
  • Latin American Carriers: Recorded a 9.2% growth in demand with a 7.0% increase in capacity.
  • African Airlines: Demand grew by 14.2%, although there was a significant decrease in the Africa-Asia market compared to February. Capacity rose by 17.3%.

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