African airlines reported a 2.4% year-over-year (y-o-y) reduction in air cargo demand in May 2023, according to a recent report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It is mainly due to the effects of the crisis in Sudan since mid-April.
The trade growth between Africa and Asia was noticeably slower, from 18.5% in April to 11% in May. However, capacity increased 9.2% over the previous year in May.
“Trading conditions for air cargo continue to be challenging with a 5.2% fall in demand and several economic indicators pointing towards weakness,” said IATA Director General Willie Walsh, Zawya reported.
“The second half of the year, however, should bring some improvements. As inflation moderates in many markets, it is widely expected that central bank rate hikes will taper. This should help stimulate economic activity with a positive impact on demand for air cargo,” he stated.
Global demand in May 2023 fell by 5.2% y-o-y, while capacity increased by 14.5% y-o-y, mainly due to belly capacity, which is increasing as passenger demand recovers.
According to IATA, capacity is currently 5.9% above May 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.
Meanwhile, South African Airways (SAA) has confirmed the forthcoming launch of two new intercontinental routes to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The transatlantic route is the first of its kind since South Africa’s flagship airline resumed normal operations in September 2021.
South African Airways interim executive chairman and chief executive officer John Lamola said he was pleased to announce Sao Paulo as the first international destination as the airline successfully weathered the crisis it found itself in during COVID-19.
“Our decision to resume long-haul service to Sao Paulo was made on the basis of a thorough analysis of the feasibility of this route,” he explained, TV Brics reported.
According to the company, South African Airways will fly to Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport four times a week, twice from Cape Town (on Tuesdays and Saturdays) and twice from Johannesburg (on Mondays and Thursdays).