Cargo continues to be the bright spot for the aviation sector, IATA revealed in a conference today in which the association’s chief economist, Brian Pearce, gave a market update and outlined the role of air cargo during global economic expansion.

Pearce explained: “Cargo volumes were hit much less than the passenger business. By July, we saw cargo tonne km (CTKs)  just over 13% lower than a year earlier”.

“If we look at what’s happened by trade lane, interestingly this huge variation from the North Pacific market is showing volumes higher than where they were last year versus the North Atlantic where volumes are 30% down,” he noted.

“There is partly a cargo demand reason for this. If we look at trade flows in July, US trade with China was down less than 1% compared with US trade with Germany which was down 13%. So that’s part of the reason, but it doesn’t explain the extent of these difference, which we think are much more related to the shortage of freighter capacity”.

Pearce continued: “The demand for cargo has been driven as governments have unlocked their economies. We’ve obviously not seen that happening with boarders for travel, but borders are open for trade and as economies have unlocked and people have returned to work, we’ve seen a rebound in business confidence”.

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