African Airlines posted the strongest increase in international cargo business in October this year at 2.8% according to data from the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA). In contrast, other regional airlines like, Asia-Pacific airlines, European carriers, Middle Eastern Airlines, and Latin American carriers all reported a decline in international cargo volumes in the same period.
The global air cargo business continued its recovery at a modest pace from the low point of the Covid19 crisis. IATA expects the cargo business to pick up in the last quarter of 2020 as people send gift packages to their loved ones during the festive season. Additionally, the increasing popularity in online shopping is set to boost the air cargo business since most of the goods bought online are transported by air.
According to the report by IATA, most airlines lack the capacity to effectively handle air cargo due to the grounding of most passenger flights.
“Demand for air cargo is coming back—a trend we see continuing into the fourth quarter. The biggest problem for air cargo is the lack of capacity as much of the passenger fleet remains grounded. The end of the year is always peak season for air cargo. That will likely be exaggerated with shoppers relying on e-commerce—80% of which is delivered by air. So the capacity crunch from the grounded aircraft will hit particularly hard in the closing months of 2020. And the situation will become even more critical as we search for capacity for the impending vaccine deliveries,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac in an emailed statement.
African airlines take the smallest share of the air cargo market at 1.8% while Asia-Pacific airlines take the largest share at 34.5%. North American carriers take 24.3%, European carriers take 23.6%, and Middle Eastern airlines take 13%, and Latin American airlines take 2.8% of the air cargo market.