Air freight is doing very well.
This year, the volume of cargo carried by air is expected to exceed 2019 by 8%, the last year before the pandemic.
A great performance while passenger traffic is still very much in decline.
Better, according to the Iata, which brings together 290 airlines in the world, the turnover of air freight should reach a record level of 175 billion dollars in 2021. And the key indicator of profitability of the sector, the price of the ton transported per kilometer, is expected to increase by 15%.
Airlines cling to freight
It is because the prices of air freight have soared: usually, 50% of goods travel in the holds of passenger planes.
However, with the crisis, companies are providing only part of their usual program.
To compensate, some have made dedicated freight flights in passenger planes.
Everyone has in mind the first Air France planes repatriating masks from China in the spring of 2020. Less anecdotally, companies specializing in freight such as Atlas have bought additional cargo planes.
Demand greater than supply
But demand remains higher than supply. With the disorganization of maritime transport and the increase in the prices of sea transport, the pressure on air freight has increased further this year. As a result, this activity has become more important in the income statement of air carriers. Last year, cargo, which generated $ 129 billion, accounted for a third of companies' revenues against 15% before the pandemic. On the other hand, the Iata expects a normalization of the activity in 2022 even if the association reports "
" in the short and long term.
Next year, volumes are expected to increase by another 5%.
In contrast, revenues are expected to decline to $ 169 billion.
The explanation: the price per tonne transported by plane should fall due to the return of capacity induced by the return to service of a greater number of airliners.