This month, we start with an important observation for our industry: worldwide volumes in January 2021 were the same as in January 2020, making January the first month since the start of the pandemic not showing a decline year-on-year (YoY). Although worldwide rates per kg were 75% higher YoY, they were 8% lower than those in December. The worldwide load factor dropped by 2% pts month-over-month (MoM) but increased by 17% pts YoY, thanks to a drop in capacity of 28% pts (excluding integrators). The load factors on wide-body freighters gained 7% pts YoY, while wide-body passenger aircraft booked an increase of 22% pts.

The outstanding performers in January were virtually all to be found in the Asia Pacific region, which has indeed recovered quickest from the consequences of the pandemic. The area as a whole improved by 12% YoY outgoing and 14% incoming. The origins Vietnam and Japan each increased their outgoing volumes by more than 30%, closely followed by Taiwan (+25%). Outside Asia, only the United States managed to improve its performance as an air cargo origin (+3% YoY), with the Midwest as the main engine of growth (+13%). A striking feature of the North American market was the fact that incoming business from Europe showed the highest YoY rate increase of all major markets: +147%.

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