The gradual route to recovery to pre-COVID market conditions continued for the global air cargo industry in August for a fourth consecutive month, according to fresh volume and yield data from two of the industry’s leading analysts, CLIVE Data Services and TAC Index.

Year-on-year growth for the full four weeks of August showed a further narrowing of the gap in international air cargo volumes to -17% compared with August 2019. This compares to a -41% YOY disparity in April, since when month-on-month demand has improved. Capacity gains, however, have added to the downward pressure on both CLIVE’s ‘dynamic loadfactor’ and average yields.

In August, the receding gap in the year-over-year decline between capacity and demand resulted in a global dynamic loadfactor drop from 70% in July to 68% last month; however, this is still exceptionally high, considering that August is traditionally air cargo’s slack season, registering at 8% points higher than the corresponding performance in August 2019.

Looking at traffic flows from China, CLIVE Data Services’ analyses for August confirms that previous concerns of hardly any demand for capacity once the PPE peak subsided have not materialised. Volumes in the last week of August were just 4% less than for this same week in 2019. “Not great, but by no means a disaster,” commented Managing Director, Niall van de Wouw.