by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE
KUALA LUMPUR – Global demand for international air cargo rose 9.4 per cent in October this year compared to the same month in 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In a statement, it said data for global air cargo markets showed that demand continued to be well above pre-crisis levels and that the capacity constraints have eased slightly.
Capacity constraints have also eased slightly but remain 7.2 per cent below pre-COVID-19 levels (October 2019) (-8.0 per cent for international operations).
IATA director-general Willie Walsh said the October data reflected an overall positive outlook for air cargo as supply chain congestion continued to push manufacturers towards the speed of air cargo.
“Demand up 9.4 per cent in October compared to pre-crisis levels. And capacity constraints were slowly resolving as more passenger travel meant more belly capacity for air cargo.
“The impact of government reactions to the Omicron variant is a concern. If it dampens travel demand, capacity issues will become more acute.
“After almost two years of COVID-19, governments have the experience and tools to make better data-driven decisions than the mostly knee-jerk reactions to restrict travel that we have seen to date,” Walsh said, adding that however, restrictions will not stop the spread of Omicron.
“Along with urgently reversing these policy mistakes, the focus of governments should be squarely on ensuring the integrity of supply chains and increasing the distribution of vaccines,” he added.