African Airlines Experience 14.2% Surge In March Cargo Demand

The demand for air cargo increased by 14.2% year over year in March 2024 for African airlines, indicating a consistent pattern of strong yearly growth in the worldwide air cargo markets.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) March 2024 Air Cargo Market Analysis report, which was released on the IATA website on April 30, is the source of this data.

The study highlighted a notable 17.3% annual increase in African carriers’ total air cargo capacity as of March 2024. But it highlighted a clear reduction in demand on the Africa-Asia route, which fell to 22.9%, a significant 19.8 percentage point drop from February’s numbers.

“African airlines saw 14.2% year-on-year demand growth for air cargo in March. Demand on Africa–Asia market increased to 22.9%; however, this was a 19.8 ppt decrease compared to February’s performance and the largest contraction across the major route areas. March capacity increased by 17.3% year-on-year,” the report read in part.

The IATA report revealed a significant surge in global air cargo demand, with a 10.3% increase in March 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. International operations saw an even more impressive 11.4% rise.

Additionally, the report outlined the distribution of total cargo traffic market share for March 2024: Asia-Pacific led with 33.3%, followed by North America’s 26.9%, Europe’s 21.4%, the Middle East’s 13.5%, Africa’s 2%, and Latin America at 2.8%.

In terms of available total air cargo capacity, March 2024 saw a 7.3% increase compared to March 2023, with international operations experiencing a notable 10.5% rise.

More insight

  • The IATA report attributes this sustained growth in air cargo demand to the ongoing expansion in global cross-border trade and industrial production.
  • Global cross-border trade and industrial production saw modest increases of 1.2% and 1.6% respectively in February.
  • In addition, the month of March witnessed a positive shift in manufacturing output Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), reaching 51.9, indicating expansion. However, in the new export orders, PMI slightly fell to 49.5, indicating that growth expectations remained below the 50 threshold.
  • March also presented a mixed inflation scenario: In the EU and Japan, inflation rates decreased to 2.6% and 2.7% respectively, while the US saw a rise to 3.5%. Conversely, China experienced slight deflation at -0.01%, marking a return to deflation after a brief period of inflation in February.

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