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African Carriers See Strong Demand Growth for Air Cargo in May

ADDIS ABABA – African carriers saw 18.4% year-on-year demand growth for air cargo in May – the strongest of all regions, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Tuesday.

IATA, a trade association of world’s airlines, released data for May 2024 global air cargo markets showing continuing strong annual growth in demand.

The total demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), rose by 14.7% compared to May 2023 levels, marking the sixth consecutive month of double-digit annual growth.

The report shows the Air cargo demand moved sharply upwards across all regions.

However, carriers from Africa and Asia Pacific registered the highest annual growth rates, with 18.2% and 18.1%, respectively.

For African airlines, the figure increased by 7.2 percentage points (ppts) compared to April, the highest increase among all carriers, says IATA.

The expansion was driven by the demand on the Africa–Asia trade lane which surged by 40.6% compared to May 2023.

This is “the strongest performance of all trade lanes,” the report notes. In the same period, African carriers’ cargo capacity rose by 21.4% from last year.

Meanwhile, European carriers saw 17.2% year-on-year demand growth for air cargo in May – the third highest annual growth – followed by the Middle East (15.3%), Latin America (11.3%) and North American (9.6%).

“The sector benefited from trade growth, booming e-commerce and capacity constraints on maritime shipping,” IATA Director General Walsh, said. “The outlook remains largely positive with purchasing managers showing expectations for future growth.”