The state of air cargo and global trade

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health and humanitarian crisis, and it is also an economic shock. We will be providing weekly updates throughout the COVID-19 crisis on air cargo capacity changes based on actual flight movements.

With our comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date demand and supply databases, Seabury Consulting, now part of Accenture's travel industry practice, is able to provide insights and data on air, express and ocean freight demand and capacity on a global basis.

China outbound air cargo capacity declined -39% during the Spring festival

2021 Spring festival capacity reductions were limited compared to 2020, when capacity almost halved, due to this year’s sustained levels of air cargo demand.

Chart showing daily air cargo capacity out of mainland China, 2019-2021.

Note: Direct international capacity only; All freighters and widebody passenger aircraft only, mainland China excludes Hong Kong; Date measured in UTC time; Data has been smoothened to mitigate day-of-week fluctuations.

Source: Seabury Cargo Capacity Tracking database, Accenture analysis (February 2021)

Grounding of B777 aircraft to result in another ~2% reduction of air cargo capacity

Pratt & Whitney-powered B777 passenger aircraft provided 33k tonnes of capacity in January 2021, representing ~2% of the global total. Further pressure on the air cargo market expected to impact Asia Pacific and North America most.

Chart showing the impact of air cargo capacity by B777 grounding.

Note: 1) Includes all Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines; 2) Share of total trade lane air cargo capacity.

Source: CNN, “Airlines ground dozens of Boeing 777 planes after engine failure over Denver”; Seabury Consulting Cargo Capacity Tracking database, Accenture analysis (February 2021)

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