Freight traffic in January 2021 exceeded the pre-crisis level

New IATA data for January 2021 brought positive news for airlines operating in the air cargo industry.

According to the association, in the first month of this year, the global volume of cargo transportation recovered to the pre-crisis level and exceeded the indicators of January 2019 by 1.1%. On a monthly basis, cargo volumes continued to rise (plus 3%), indicating a clear recovery.

Freight traffic in January exceeded the pre-crisis level
Freight traffic in January exceeded the pre-crisis level

In January 2021, an improvement in demand for air cargo transportation was observed in all regions. North America and Africa performed the highest, with CTKs up 11.7% and 21.1%, respectively, compared to the pre-crisis period (January 2019). IATA noted that the growth in freight traffic is still unevenly distributed. Markets connecting Asia (manufacturing center) with the United States and North America remain strong.

IATA's new findings, together with WorldACD statistics, allow carriers, especially those with their own cargo aircraft like ZetAvia, to look ahead with confidence. However, despite the supporting factors mentioned above, the lack of capacity remains a problem for the further growth of CTK, the association said.

As for passenger traffic, it continues to fall in 2021. It is estimated that in January 2021, passenger traffic decreased by 72% compared to January 2019. At the same time, domestic traffic decreased by 47.4%, while the demand for international flights fell by 85.6%. Even China, which became the largest domestic air travel market during the pandemic, saw a sharp drop in traffic in February due to increased travel restrictions both domestically and internationally, despite the usually always high season during Chinese New Year celebrations.

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