Middle Eastern carriers have reported a decline of 36.2% year-on-year in April, significantly worse than 14.1% fall in March, according to the latest data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Despite a number of carriers in the region maintaining some cargo capacity, traffic on all key routes was low, stated the report.
According to IATA report, the global air freight markets demand - measured in cargo tonne kilometers (CTKs) - fell by 27.7% in April compared to the previous year (-29.5% for international markets), thus registering the sharpest fall ever recorded. The international capacity too decreased 42.4%.
Global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne kilometers (ACTKs), shrank by 42% in April compared to the previous year (-40.9% for international markets).
The report stated that the belly capacity for international air cargo shrank by 75% in April compared to the previous year. This was partially offset by a 15% increase in capacity through expanded use of freighter aircraft, it added.
Total freight traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of CTK are: Asia-Pacific 34.5%, Europe 23.6%, North America 24.3%, Middle East 13.0%, Latin America 2.8%, and Africa 1.8%.
Commenting on the April performance, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said there was a severe capacity crunch in air cargo.
"Capacity was down 42% because of the sharp cuts in passenger operations which also carry cargo. The result is damaging global supply chains with longer shipping times and higher costs. Airlines are deploying as much capacity as possible, including special charter operations and the temporary use of passenger cabins for cargo," stated de Juniac.
"Governments need to continue to ensure that vital supply lines remain open and efficient. While many have responded with speed and clarity to facilitate the movement of cargo, government red-tape—particularly in Africa and Latin America—is preventing the industry from flexibly deploying aircraft to meet the demands of the pandemic and the global economy," he added.-TradeArabia News Service
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