African Airlines Experience 22% Surge in Cargo Demand

Recent data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reveals a significant uptick in air cargo demand for African airlines, marking a remarkable 22% year-on-year growth in February. This surge in demand outpaces growth in all other regions, underscoring the continent’s burgeoning air freight sector.

The intra-Africa trade lane notably exhibited robust growth, recording a remarkable 42.3% year-on-year increase. Moreover, February witnessed a substantial 28.2% year-on-year capacity expansion, further fueling the region’s air cargo momentum.

IATA’s latest report on global air cargo markets for February 2024 underscores a continuing trend of robust demand growth, with total demand surging by 11.9% compared to the same period last year. Notably, this marks the third consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year demand growth.

Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA, commented on the industry’s resilience in the face of economic uncertainties, highlighting February’s demand growth as a testament to air cargo’s enduring strength.

The operating environment, as outlined by IATA, points to several factors influencing the industry, including a modest 0.9% increase in global cross-border trade in January. Despite challenges, indicators such as the manufacturing output Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) signal expansion, with manufacturing activity showing positive momentum.

While Asia-Pacific airlines saw a slight moderation in demand growth compared to January, European carriers witnessed a robust 14.6% year-on-year increase in demand for air cargo. Middle Eastern carriers also experienced significant growth, with a notable 20.9% surge in demand.

The data underscores the resilience and vitality of Africa’s aviation sector, positioning it as a key player in the global air cargo landscape. As demand continues to soar, African airlines are poised to capitalize on emerging opportunities and drive economic growth across the continent.

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