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December 2023 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis 
Published January 31. IATA Economic Reports.

Air cargo records 10,8% increase YoY 


Highlights

  • In December, global air cargo traffic saw a notable year-on-year increase of 10.8%, marking the most substantial annual growth in air cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) over the past two years. This surge brought the annual average 2023 figures to within 1.9% of the traffic seen in 2022.
  • Global International Cargo Tonne Kilometres (CTKs) increased year-over-year by 11.5% in December, with growth in all major trade lanes. This resulted in the year 2023 concluding just 2.2% below the international traffic level reached in 2022.
  • December saw new highs in Available Cargo Tonne-Kilometers (ACTKs), a metric for global air cargo capacity. This increase, largely due to the expansion of international passenger belly capacity, resulted in a 13.6% yearon-year (YoY) rise in December's ACTK. Consequently, 2023 concluded with an 11.3% increase in total air cargo capacity compared to 2022.
  • The expansion in global air cargo capacity also resulted in a small drop in cargo load factors (month-onmonth), closing the year at 44.0% on average.

African airline capacity up 3.9% MoM and 14% YoY

In December, all major trade lanes reported positive YoY growth, reflecting strong momentum. Reviewing 2023, the Africa-Asia market demonstrated the most notable growth, exceeded that of the previous year by double digits on average. This market achieved positive YoY growth for the majority of the year, including a significant 37% increase in February following China's reopening.


December continues strong growth in air cargo traffic

Global air cargo demand reached 22.8 billion CTKs in December, the highest traffic in two years, representing a 10.8% increase year-on-year (YoY) – the most significant annual growth since October 2021. While this performance is partly due to a base effect (the decline in CTKs for most of 2022), it also reflects continuous YoY demand growth over the past 4 months and robust month-on-month growth since April. Download the full report...