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News 2023

February 2023 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis

Published April 4. IATA Economic Reports.

Cargo demand stable


  • Air cargo demand displayed resilience in February. Compared with a year ago, cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs) were 7.5% lower, a significant improvement from the 14.9% annual decline in January.
  • Global air cargo capacity, measured by available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), grew 8.6% year-on-year (YoY). This growth was driven by the return of passenger aircraft belly-hold capacity in international markets, which increased 57.0% YoY and recovered 75.1% of pre-pandemic capacity in February.
  • International air cargo traffic saw varied performance across regions, with Africa and North America maintaining their lead in the recovery of cargo traffic. China's reopening played a significant role in improving the performance of Asia-related route areas.

African airline cargo volumes decrease by 3.4% YoY with Africa to Asia route increasing by 39.5% YoY

African airlines saw cargo volumes decrease by 3.4% in February 2023 compared to February 2022. This was an improvement in performance compared to the previous month (-9.5%). Notably, the Africa to Asia route area experienced significant cargo demand growth in February, up 39.5% year-on-year. Capacity was 4.7% above February 2022 levels.  

Air cargo traffic decline slowed in February

The annual decline in industry-wide cargo tonnekilometers (CTKs) slowed in February, falling 7.5% from last year’s levels. At half the rate of the annual decline in the previous 2 months, this marks a substantial improvement in performance. Download the full report.