African airlines’ air cargo demand increases by 10.6% in April 2024 

In April 2024, African airlines experienced a 10.6% year-on-year increase in air cargo demand, aligning with robust global growth in the air cargo market in the second quarter of the year.  

Worldwide, air cargo demand grew by 11.1% compared to April 2023.  

These statistics are from the recently released International Air Transport Association (IATA) report, which provides data on April 2024 air cargo markets.  

“African airlines saw 10.6% year-on-year demand growth for air cargo in April. Demand in the Africa–Asia market increased by 25.8% compared to April 2023. April capacity increased by 18.7% year-on-year,” the report read in part.  

African airlines performance

  • According to the IATA report, African airlines outperformed their counterparts in North America and the Middle East in April 2024, with a 10.6% year-on-year growth in air cargo demand compared to 7% and 9.4% in these regions, respectively.  
  • However, airlines in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Latin America saw even higher growth, recording increases of 14%, 12.7%, and 11.7%, respectively. 
  • The report also highlighted several key factors in the air cargo market’s operating environment. In April, the PMIs for global manufacturing output and new export orders turned positive for the first time in two years, reaching 51.5 and 50.5, respectively.  
  • Industrial production increased by 1.6% year-on-year in March, while global cross-border trade contracted by 0.8%. 
  • Inflation remained relatively stable in April, with rates at 3.4% in the US, 2.6% in the EU, and 2.5% in Japan. Meanwhile, China reported a modest 0.2% year-on-year increase in consumer prices, a positive sign amid concerns about its economic slowdown. 

More insights 

The IATA report highlighted that April 2024 marked the fifth consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year growth in air cargo demand.  

IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh, observed that global air cargo demand grew despite economic uncertainties, even when the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) indicated potential contraction.

Now, with the PMI showing growth, Walsh highlighted the even stronger prospects for continued robust air cargo demand.  

“Air cargo demand started Q2 with a solid 11.1% increase. While many economic uncertainties remain, it appears that the roots of air cargo’s strong performance are deepening. In recent months, air cargo demand grew even when the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was indicating the potential for contraction. With the PMI now indicating growth, the prospects for continued strong demand are even more robust,” Walsh stated.  

  • Additionally, the IATA report showed that airline capacity increased by 7.1% overall and 10.2% for international operations compared to April 2023. 
  • Regionally, Asia-Pacific airlines saw a 7.8% year-on-year capacity increase, while North American airlines experienced a 4.0% rise.  
  • European airlines reported a 10.3% increase in capacity, Middle Eastern carriers saw a 5.7% rise, Latin American carriers experienced a 9.8% increase, and African airlines led with an impressive 18.7% year-on-year capacity growth in April 2024. 


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