IATA: Growth in November signals strong end to 2023

Air cargo grew for the fourth consecutive month in November due to improving demand, reports the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Pictured: Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA

Demand measured in cargo tonne kilometres (CTK) was up 8.3% year-on-year, partly because November 2022 was a weak month and because demand is improving.

Capacity measured in available CTK (ACTK) was up 13.7% mainly due to increased belly capacity as international passenger markets continue their post-Covid recovery.

Demand is down 2.6% compared to November 2019 and capacity is up 4.1%.

IATA says both the manufacturing output and new export order Purchasing Managers Indexes (PMI) hovered just below the 50-mark in November with small positive movements, indicating, a deceleration of the economic slowdown.

Global cross-border trade recorded its third consecutive month of growth in October, reversing its previous downward trend.

Inflation in major advanced economies softened in November with the Consumer Price Index measuring around 3% in the US, Japan and the European Union, and it was negative in China for the second month in a row.

Air cargo yields were up 8.9% since October, which IATA says are in line with improving air cargo load factors and could be tied in part to booming e-commerce deliveries from China to western markets.

Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA, says, “November air cargo demand was up 8.3% on 2022—the strongest year-on-year growth in almost two years. That is a doubling of October’s 3.8% increase and a fourth month of positive market development. It is shaping up to be an encouraging year-end for air cargo despite the significant economic concerns that were present throughout 2023 and continue on the horizon.”

Cargo volumes for Asia Pacific airlines increased 13.8% in November and capacity increased 29.6% as more belly capacity came online due to the removal of Covid-19 restrictions.

North America had the weakest growth at 1.8%, which was an improvement on the 1.8% contraction registered in October.

European carriers grew 6.7% in November compared to 1% year-on-year growth in October.

The Middle East had another strong month with volumes increasing 13.5% year-on-year in November.

Latin America was up 4.2%, similar to the year-on-year increase of 4% seen in October.

Volumes in Africa increased by 3.9%, an improvement on the 2.9% increase in October.