The Russian-Ukrainian war and China’s zero-COVID policy have led to lower cargo demand, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement on Thursday.
IATA has released its April 2022 data for global air cargo markets, showing falling demand and shrinking capacity caused by the spread of the omicron variant in Asia and the war in Ukraine, which continue to rage. create “a difficult operating environment that is driving the decline.
Global demand fell 11% from April last year, representing a 10% drop in international operations. The association also found that capacity was 2% below 2021 levels, with Asia seeing the biggest capacity declines.
“The war in Ukraine led to a decline in cargo capacity used to serve Europe, as several airlines based in Russia and Ukraine were key cargo players,” the IATA statement said. “China’s zero COVID policy has resulted in capacity issues due to flight cancellations due to labor shortages.”
The statement also revealed that carriers in the Middle East saw an 11.9% year-on-year drop in cargo volumes in April. The significant benefits of redirecting air traffic to avoid flying over Russia “have not materialized”, IATA said, attributing this to ongoing supply chain problems in Asia.
New export orders, a leading indicator of freight demand and global trade, are now down in all markets except the United States.
Global merchandise trade also continued to decline in 2022, with China’s economy growing at a much slower pace due to COVID-related lockdowns, among other factors. COVID-19 shutdowns have paralyzed much of Shanghai, the world’s largest port.
This, coupled with supply chain disruptions due to the war between Ukraine and Russia, also added to the downward pressure on trade.
“The combination of war in Ukraine and COVID-19 lockdowns in China has driven up energy costs, intensified supply chain disruptions and fueled inflation,” the CEO said. ‘IATA, Willie Walsh.
“The operating environment is challenging for all businesses, including air cargo. But with China easing lockdown restrictions, there is cause for optimism and the supply/demand imbalance is keeping yields high,” Walsh added.
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