Africa retains top spot in air cargo


Africa maintained its position at the top of world air cargo performance rankings, growing nearly 40%in August as the global airline industry continues on its recovery from Covid-19 pandemic effects.

Global air cargo market data for August 2021 released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), shows strong overall growth with demand up 7.7%, well above the long-term average growth trend of 4.7%.

At 33.9%, the growth in Africa’s international cargo volumes was the largest increase of all regions during the month, supported by strong investment flows along the Africa-Asia route. Volumes on that particular route were up 26.4% relative to 2019 amid a 2.2% shrinkage in the capacity deployed on international routes.

Africa’s fortunes were in sharp contrast to Latin America whose airlines suffered a 14% slump in international cargo volumes in August compared to 2019, the weakest performance of all regions. The region also had the largest reduction in capacity with international capacity decrease 27.1 in the period.

Although it accounts for only a 2% share of the air cargo market, the African region has for several years outperformed the rest of world in operation terms, posting growth where the rest were stagnant.

North America which posted an 18% increase came second to Africa, followed by the Middle East at 15.4%. Europe and Asia Pacific increased 6 and 3%.