Air cargo traffic eased ahead of conflict in Eastern Europe

The International Air Transport As sociation (IATA) announced that the recovery in air travel slowed for both domestic and international in January 2022 compared to December 2021, owing to the imposition of travel restrictions following the emergence of Omicron last November and now the on-going conflict in Eastern Europe.

IATA in a new press release indicated that -the International Industry-wide cargo ton kilometers (CTKs) had softened in the three months to January 2022. CTKs rose 7.2% year-on-year, but this is weaker than the previous three months period (16.0%) and seasonally adjusted CTKs fell by 0.7% quarter-on-quarter.
Drivers of air cargo are currently mixed. While trade and economic activity continue to expand, business and consumer
confidence have eased. The inventory-restocking cycle still has ground to cover, but the conflict in Eastern Europe threatens
CTKs growth.
Air cargo capacity remains on a slow but steady upwards trend, mainly driven by the return of belly capacity. Even though load factors have eased somewhat in H2 2021, air cargo rates have increased to new heights.

Business and consumer confidence have softened recently due to elevated inflation. That had not been enough to impact world goods trade and economic activity, which performed well recently. However, the conflict in Eastern Europe and the spread of Omicron in Asia will exacerbate supply issues, limit capacity on some route and fuel inflation from February onwards.

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