July air cargo demand was tracking just 0.8% below the previous year’s levels. Although demand is now basically flat compared to 2022, this is an improvement on recent months’ performance that is particularly significant given declines in global trade volumes and rising concerns over China’s economy.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes increase by 2.7% in July 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. This was a significant improvement in performance compared to June (-3.3%). Carriers in the region benefited from growth on three major trade lanes: Europe-Asia (3.2% year-on-year growth), Middle East-Asia (up from 1.8% in June to 6.6% in July), and Africa-Asia (returning to double-digit growth of 10.3% year-on-year from -4.8% in June). Additionally, the within-Asia trade lane also performed considerably better in July, with an annual decline of international CTKs at 7.5% compared with the double-digit decreases observed since September 2022. Available capacity in the region increased by 26.0% compared to July 2022 as more belly capacity came online from the passenger side of the business.
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