Global air cargo demand remained weak in May, but improvement is on the horizon, IATA reveals

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has today (5 July) released data for May 2023 global air cargo markets showing weak market conditions.

Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell 5.2 per cent compared to May 2022 (-6 per cent for international operations).   

Capacity, as measured by available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), rose 14.5 per cent compared to May 2022, primarily driven by belly capacity which increases as demand in the passenger business recovers. Capacity is now 5.9 per cent above May 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.

“Trading conditions for air cargo continue to be challenging with a 5.2 per cent fall in demand and several economic indicators pointing towards weakness,” said IATA director general Willie Walsh.

“The second half of the year, however, should bring some improvements. As inflation moderates in many markets, it is widely expected that central bank rate hikes will taper. This should help stimulate economic activity with a positive impact on demand for air cargo.”