Geneva: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that full-year demand for air cargo increased by 6.9% in 2021, compared to 2019 (pre-covid levels) and 18.7% compared to 2020 following a strong performance in December 2021.
This was the second biggest improvement in year-on-year demand since IATA started to monitor cargo performance in 1990 (behind 2010’s 20.6% gain), outpacing the 9.8% rise in global goods trade by 8.9 percentage points.
As comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons below are to 2019 which followed a normal demand pattern.
“Air cargo had a stellar year in 2021. For many airlines, it provided a vital source of revenue as passenger demand remained in the doldrums due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Growth opportunities however were lost due to the pressures of labour shortages and constraints across the logistics system. Overall, economic conditions do point towards a strong 2022,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.