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African airlines record 4.7 % decline in cargo volumes

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for August 2023 global air cargo markets, showing that year-on-year air cargo demand grew for the first…

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for August 2023 global air cargo markets, showing that year-on-year air cargo demand grew for the first time in 19 months.

But Africa posted the weakest performance among regions caused by decline in Africa-Asia cargoes, it was learnt.

African airlines recorded 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.

The data released yesterday indicated that global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), increased by 1.5% compared to August 2022 levels (1.2% for international operations). 

Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), was up 12.2% compared to August 2022 (11.8% for international operations). This was largely related to belly capacity which rose 30% year-on-year as airlines ramped-up operations to meet peak-northern summer travel season demand.

In August, both the manufacturing output Purchasing Managers Index or PMI (49.4) and new export orders PMI (47.0) saw a slight improvement to the previous month.

They remained, however, below the critical threshold represented by the 50 mark, indicating a continuing, if slower, annual decline in global manufacturing production and exports.

In China, which is fighting deflationary pressures, consumer prices rose. 

IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh said, “Air cargo demand grew by 1.5% over the previous August. This is the first year-on-year growth in 19 months, so it is certainly welcome news.

“But it is off a low 2022 base and market signals are mixed. Looking ahead, while many uncertainties remain, we can take some optimism from PMI data moving towards positive territory. This is particularly significant as we head into air cargo’s traditional peak year-end season.”  

But while the cargo volumes dipped, African airlines saw a 26.1% traffic increase in the same month versus a year ago. August capacity was up 25.5% and load factor rose 0.4 percentage points to 76.2%, according to IATA. 

According to the association representing some 300 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic, strong post-pandemic passenger traffic trend continued in August.

 

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