The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data on the global air cargo market in May, which showed a slight improvement in the air cargo market.
However, due to the interruption of the transportation of belly cargo on the parked passenger aircraft, the capacity still cannot meet the demand.
The cargo loading
factor (CLF) increased by 10.4 percentage points in May. This is a slight decrease from the 12.8 percentage point in April.
However, the increase shows that the demand for air cargo is still suppressed due to the continued grounding of many passenger flights.
Global export orders continued to decline, but the growth rate slowed. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which tracks export orders for new manufacturing, is still in the contraction zone, but it has improved from the April trough.
Compared with 2019, air cargo demand has dropped by more than 20%. The ground transportation capacity of most passenger aircraft has dropped by 34.7%.
The gap between demand and capacity shows that it is a challenge to find space for aircraft that are still in flight to bring cargo to market.
Therefore, the prospect of air cargo is still stronger than the passenger transport industry, but the future prospects are very uncertain.
With the release of some economies, economic activity rebounded from the April low.
However, it is still difficult to predict the duration and depth of the recession,' said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA.
May regional performance
All regions experienced a decline in May.
Airlines in Europe and Latin America experienced the largest year-on-year decline in total freight volume, while airlines in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East experienced smaller declines.
Compared with other regions, the decline of airlines in North America and Africa is smaller.
Asia-Pacific airlines' international air cargo demand in May decreased by 21.3% compared with the same period last year. This is a solid improvement compared to the 25.2% drop in April.
North American airlines reported that international cargo demand fell by 9.0% year-on-year in May. This is the smallest contraction in all regions except Africa.
The reason for the flexibility is that the blockade period in some regions is short and the easing is not high, the number of airlines in some regions is huge, and the trade volume between China and the United States is strong.
In May, the demand for large routes from Asia to North America fell by only 0.4%. International capacity dropped by 28%.
European carriers reported that international freight volumes fell by 29.7% annually in May, the worst performance of any region. Until mid-May, limited manufacturing output and production shutdowns were the reasons for weak performance.
Middle Eastern airlines reported a 25% year-on-year decline in May, a significant decrease from the 36.2% in April.
Although many carriers in the region maintain a certain freight capacity, the traffic flow on all key routes is still very low, and international capacity has dropped by 24.4%.
Latin American airlines’ international demand fell 22.1% year-on-year. This is a significant improvement compared to the 40.7% drop in April.
Due to strict blockade measures, the COVID-19 crisis is particularly challenging for Latin American airlines. International capacity dropped by 39.5%.
African airlines contracted the smallest in May among all regions, continuing a series of elastic performances. Africa has now ranked among the top two for 15 consecutive months.
International demand fell 6.3% year-on-year. The small African-Asian market was particularly strong in May, falling only 0.4%. International capacity dropped by 37.7%.