Despite February 2022's record highs over the past thirty years, air cargo runs the risk of becoming less efficient in the coming months.
ATA has taken stock of the performance of the air cargo industry during the pandemic and compared it with available statistics for the previous thirty years. Based on the results of a comparative analysis as of February of this year inclusive, the association concluded that the sector was recovering and reaching record levels since 1990.
An IATA industry report says that February 2022 was a record for cargo aviation in the past thirty-two years. Demand for air cargo transportation exceeded pre-crisis levels, jumping 11.9% compared to February 2019, despite all the situational difficulties. Throughput increased as restrictions on COVID-19 and its new strains gradually eased, winter disruptions eased, and businesses ramped up production activity. Reading this report, most air cargo carriers, including ZetAvia, continue to hope for the market to stabilize as soon as possible.
Let's find out what exactly IATA focuses on. In its comprehensive analysis of the global air cargo market, the association emphasizes that demand increased until March 2022, however, increasing geopolitical uncertainty, rising oil prices and the associated consequences for the economy and production, may also affect the efficiency of air cargo transportation.
Preliminary statistics for March 2022 showed a nearly 50% drop in the Purchasing Managers’ Index or PMI, the lowest since July 2020. It further states that with rising fuel prices, along with continued disruptions to the supply chain, we are likely to expect a decline in record highs for air cargo over the next few months.
The IATA Regional Air Cargo Comparison showed that Latin American carriers were the highest performers in February 2022, with volumes up 21.2% compared to February 2021, with capacity up 18.9%. European carriers over the same period recorded a 2.2% increase in cargo volumes and a 10% increase in throughput, which decreased by 11.1% compared to 2019. In the Middle East, air freight grew 5.3% year-on-year on a 7.2% increase in throughput. African airline cargo volumes increased by 4.6% with throughput 8.2% above February 2021 levels. Asia-Pacific airline cargo traffic grew by 3% with more than 15% growth in available capacity, still lagging 14.6% from 2019 levels. Air cargo volumes and throughput in North America rose by 6.1% and 13.4%, respectively, in February.
The association's report scanning the air cargo market is a comprehensive study and presentation of the drivers, constraints, opportunities, demand factors, risks, forecasts and trends of the industry.