Ever since the beginning of aviation, the cargo was always been an additional benefit for carriers accounting for only 12 percent of the total revenue on average. With the grounding of two-thirds of all passenger aircraft across the globe and coupled with rising freight rates, cargo has become the only silver line for most carriers.
In its financial outlook for the global air transport industry released in June, International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects total revenue of airlines to drop 50 percent to $419 billion in 2020 from 2019’s $838 billion. Compared to 2019, cargo volume will lose 10.3 million tonnes in 2020 to 51 million tonnes. In other words, 2020 will be the worst year in the history of aviation.
However, IATA also notes that the lack of freight capacity due to the absence of belly space of grounded passenger aircraft is expected to push rates up by 30 percent this year. Hence it has estimated that cargo revenues will reach a near-record $110.8 billion in 2020 up from $102.4 billion in 2019, an increase of 8.2 percent compared to 61 percent fall in passenger revenue. Also, cargo will contribute 26 percent to the total revenue of airlines in 2020 up from 12 percent in 2019.