FedEx was last year the world’s busiest cargo airline despite volumes remaining flat on a year earlier, while Qatar moved into second place and UPS was up to third, according to IATA’s World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) report. (See end of report for full chart).

Last year was a tough 12 months for the air cargo industry — although nothing compared with 2020 — as IATA said that overall volumes declined by 3.3% year on year.

However, the top 25 cargo airlines appeared to outperform the overall market, with demand dropping by 1%.

Topping the list was express giant FedEx as its cargo traffic was flat on a year ago at 17.5bn cargo tonne kms.

In a quarterly results filing, the company said that it had been affected by “continuing trade disputes, including reductions in international airfreight, and tepid, at best, business-to-business domestic parcel and freight shipping”.

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