March 5, 2024
Logistics Aviation

Global air cargo demand up 8.3% in November 2023

Middle Eastern carriers post 13.5% YoY rise in cargo volumes

Global air cargo demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), increased by 8.3% in November 2023 compared to November 2022, according to newly released data issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). For international operations, demand growth was 8.1%.

Middle Eastern carriers registered the most robust performance in November 2023, with a 13.5% year-on-year (YoY) increase in cargo volumes. This was similar to the significant improvement noted in the previous month’s performance (+13.0%).

The new IATA statistics indicate the most robust YoY growth in the last two years – partly attributed to weakness in November 2022 – while also reflecting a fourth consecutive month of strengthening demand for air cargo.

Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres (ACTKs), was up 13.7% compared to November 2022 (+11.6% for international operations).

Most of the capacity growth continues to be attributable to the increase in belly capacity as international passenger markets continue their post-pandemic recovery.

Demand scenario

Compared to November 2019 (pre-pandemic), demand was down 2.5% while capacity was up 4.1%, according to IATA.

IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh stated: “November 2023 air cargo demand was up 8.3% on 2022 – the most substantial year-on-year growth in almost two years. That doubles October 2023’s 3.8% increase and a fourth month of positive market development.

“It is shaping up to be an encouraging year-end for air cargo despite the significant economic concerns that were present throughout 2023 and continue on the horizon.”

Regarding regional performance, apart from the Middle East, Asia-Pacific carriers recorded their air cargo volumes increasing by 13.8% in November 2023 compared to November 2022.

On the other hand, North American airlines registered the weakest demand growth in November 2023, with a 1.8% increase (YoY) in cargo volumes. Nonetheless, this was a significant performance improvement compared to October 2023’s 1.8% contraction.

Latin American carriers recorded a 4.2% increase in cargo volumes in November 2023, compared to November 2022, like the 4.0% YoY increase recorded in October 2023.

Europe’s carriers saw their air cargo volumes increase by 6.7% in November 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. This performance was more robust than in October 2023 (1.0%).

African airlines witnessed their air cargo volumes rise by 3.9% in November 2023, compared to October 2023’s +2.9% growth performance.

Featured image: Middle Eastern cargo carriers excelled in November 2023. Image: Oman Air

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, space, aerospace, aviation, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, fashion, and automotive verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally and protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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