Aviation article(s)
November 30, 2022

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for October 2022 global air cargo markets showing that headwinds continue to affect air cargo demand. 


Global demand — measured in cargo tonne-kilometres  fell 13.6% compared to October 2021, also showing a 13.5% decline for international operations. 

IATA said in a statement that capacity for October was 0.6% below the same period in 2021.


"This was the first year-on-year contraction since April 2022, however, month-on-month capacity increased by 2.4% in preparation for the year-end peak season," it added.


International cargo capacity for the period, however, grew 2.4% compared to October 2021.


Traditional peak season still observed in October


"Air cargo continues to demonstrate resilience as headwinds persist. Cargo demand in October — while tracking below the exceptional performance of October 2021— saw a 3.5% increase in demand compared to September," said Willie Walsh, IATA's director-general.


"This indicates that the year-end will still bring a traditional peak-season boost despite economic uncertainties. But as 2022 closes out it appears that the current economic uncertainties will follow into the New Year and need continued close monitoring," the IATA chief added.


For October, IATA reported that Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes decrease by 14.7% in October 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. This also shows a 10.7% decline compared to September's performance. 


IATA said airlines in the region continue to be impacted by the war in Ukraine, and lower levels of trade and manufacturing activity due to Omicron-related restrictions in China.


North American carriers also posted an 8.6% decrease in cargo volumes in October this year compared to the same month in 2021. IATA said this also showed a 6% decline from the month prior, although capacity was up 2.4% year-on-year.


IATA said similarly, European carriers saw an 18.8% decrease in cargo volumes year-on-year in October.


"This was the worst performance of all regions and a decline in performance compared to September (-15.6%). This is attributable to the war in Ukraine. High inflation levels, most notably in Türkiye, also affected volumes," IATA said, adding that capacity decreased by 5.2% year-on-year in October.


Middle Eastern carriers experienced a 15.0% year-on-year decrease in cargo volumes in October, marking a "marginal" improvement to the 15.8% decline recorded in September.


IATA said stagnant cargo volumes to/from Europe impacted the region's performance.


Meanwhile, Latin American carriers reported a decrease in demand of 1.4% in cargo volumes in October compared to October 2021, which IATA said was the strongest performance of all regions.


IATA noted, however, that this was still a "significant decline" in performance compared to the 10.8% increase recorded in September. Capacity in October was up 19.2% compared to the same month in 2021.  


African airlines saw cargo volumes decrease by 8.3% year-on-year in October. IATA said this was a significant decrease in the growth recorded the previous month (0.1%).


For the month, capacity was 7.4% below October 2021 levels.

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