The Middle East is set for the biggest rise in air cargo at 12.3 per cent, while Africa will see a modest growth of 1.5 per cent. On average, air cargo is forecast to grow 4.5%, said Rachel Yuting Fan, Sustainability and Economics, IATA. “Yields are likely to decline in 2024 but they will still be above 2019 levels,” she said. “Cargo revenue will also be about 11 per cent above 2019 and comprise 12 per cent of total industry revenue. In other words, 2024 will see sustained revenue growth and the sector outperform pre-pandemic levels,” Fan added. The relevant economic markers are also positive with 3.5 per cent growth in global trade projected for this year. Broadly speaking, belly capacity is back and will carry the majority of air cargo while preighters have disappeared entirely. Dedicated freighters will maintain their usual share of the market. Other beneficial factors include the continued growth of e-commerce, the reduction in delivery times, and the robust performance of high-value specialized products, such as pharmaceuticals, which seem resilient to the industry’s usual volatility, she added.
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