African airlines saw cargo volumes decrease by 8.3% in October 2022 compared to October 2021. This was a significant decrease in the growth recorded the previous month (0.1%). Capacity was 7.4% below October 2021 levels.
This was revealed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in its released data for October 2022 global air cargo markets showing that headwinds continue to affect air cargo demand.
According to the clearing house for global airlines, Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), fell 13.6% compared to October 2021 (-13.5% for international operations).
Capacity was 0.6% below October 2021. This was the first year-on-year contraction since April 2022, however, month-on-month capacity increased by 2.4% in preparation for the year-end peak season. International cargo capacity grew 2.4% compared to October 2021.
“Air cargo continues to demonstrate resilience as headwinds persist. Cargo demand in October — while tracking below the exceptional performance of October 2021– saw a 3.5% increase in demand compared to September. This indicates that the year-end will still bring a traditional peak-season boost despite economic uncertainties. But as 2022 closes out it appears that the current economic uncertainties will follow into the New Year and need continued close monitoring,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
October Regional Performance
Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes decrease by 14.7% in October 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. This was a decline in performance compared to September (-10.7%). Airlines in the region continue to be impacted by the war in Ukraine, and lower levels of trade and manufacturing activity due to Omicron-related restrictions in China. Available capacity in the region decreased by 2.8% compared to 2021.
Air cargo market in detail – October 2022
October 2022 (% year-on-year)
1% of industry CTKs in 2021
2Year-on-year change in load factor
3Load factor lev
North American carriers posted an 8.6% decrease in cargo volumes in October 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. This was a decline in performance compared to September (-6.0%). Capacity increased by 2.4% compared to October 2021.
European carriers saw an 18.8% decrease in cargo volumes in October 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. This was the worst performance of all regions and a decline in performance compared to September (-15.6%). This is attributable to the war in Ukraine. High inflation levels, most notably in Türkiye, also affected volumes. Capacity decreased by 5.2% in October 2022 compared to October 2021.
Middle Eastern carriers experienced a 15.0% year-on-year decrease in cargo volumes in October 2022. This was a marginal improvement to the previous month (-15.8%). Stagnant cargo volumes to/from Europe impacted the region’s performance. Capacity increased by 1.0% compared to October 2021.
Latin American carriers reported a decrease in demand of 1.4% in cargo volumes in October 2022 compared to October 2021. This was the strongest performance of all regions, however, it still was a significant decline in performance compared to September (10.8%). This was the first decline in volumes since March 2021. Capacity in October was up 19.2% compared to the same month in 2021.