GENEVA — Global air cargo markets show that demand continued its strong growth trend in July, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.

Global demand measured in cargo tonne-kilometers was up 8.6 percent compared to July 2019. Overall growth remains strong compared to the long-term average growth trend of around 4.7 percent.

The pace of growth slowed slightly compared to June, which saw demand increase 9.2 percent (against pre-Covid-19 levels). Capacity continues to recover but is still 10.3 percent down compared to July 2019.

Economic conditions continue to support air cargo growth.

“July was another solid month for global air cargo demand. Economic conditions indicate that the strong growth trend will continue into the peak year-end demand period,” said Wille Walsh, International Air Transport Association’s Director-General, in a press release.

“The Delta variant of Covid-19 could bring some risks. If supply chains and production lines are disrupted, there is potential for a knock-on effect for air cargo shipments.”

Asia Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo increase 4.4 percent in July compared to the same month in 2019, and an improvement compared to the previous month’s 3.9 percent expansion.

Demand is being affected by an easing of momentum in key activity indicators in Asia and by congested supply chains.

North American carriers posted a 20.5 percent increase in international demand in July 2021 compared to July 2019. This was in line with June’s performance (19.8 percent) and the strongest of all regions.

“While this is a disappointing development for businesses and people who rely on travel, the data from the US and Israel support the value and benefit of vaccination,” Walsh said in response to the recent EU travel restrictions for US visitors.

“As governments rightly urge their populations to be vaccinated, governments need to be confident in the benefits they bring—including the freedom to travel. At a minimum, those who are fully vaccinated should be free to move without restriction.”

New export orders and demand for faster shipping times are underpinning North American performance.

European carriers posted a 6.0 percent increase in demand in July 2021 compared to the same month in 2019. This was a marginal decrease compared to the previous month (6.8 percent).

Manufacturing activity, orders, and supplier delivery times are still favorable to air cargo.

Latin American carriers reported a decline of 10.2 percent in international cargo volumes in July compared to the 2019 period, improving the negative 21.5 percent fall recorded in June.

Although Latin America continues to show the weakest regional performance, the comparison with pre-crisis traffic levels has been highly volatile in recent months.

Several trade routes to/from Latin America are performing well, such as North-Central and North-South America and Europe-South America, confirming that demand for air cargo in the region is recovering from the crisis.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Praveen Pramod Tewari

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