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.

Air cargo capacity increased in the last two weeks mostly driven by passenger belly

Asia Pacific trade lanes show double-digit capacity growth compared to the previous two weeks. Freighter capacity only increased significantly on Europe-Asia. Latin America trade lanes show strong declines as capacity has been moved to other regions.

Chart showing change for selected trade lanes.

Direct capacity only; All freighters and widebody passenger aircraft only, Date measured in UTC time; 1) Comparing 26 Oct – 8 Nov 2020 to 12 – 25 Oct 2020. Source: Seabury Consulting Part of Accenture Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting Part of Accenture analysis (November 2020)

“Boneyard” airports play a key role in storing aircraft during the COVID-19 pandemic

Several airlines have resorted to putting aircraft in long-term storage as they ran out of space at their hub. Top 5 boneyard airports combined store more than 1100 aircraft today. Lower regional travel demand has forced many narrow body aircraft into storage.

Map showing selected storage facilities

Aircraft only considered stored in case the aircraft spends / has spent at least 120 hours at the airport. Source: Seabury Consulting Now Part of Accenture Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting Now Part of Accenture analysis (November 2020)

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