The improvement pushed first half-year air cargo growth to eight per cent, its strongest first-half performance since 2017.
North American carriers contributed 5.9 percentage points to the 9.9 per cent growth rate in June. Middle East carriers contributed 2.1 points, European airlines 1.6 points, African airlines 0.5 points, and Asia-Pacific carriers 0.3 points. Latin American carriers did not support the growth, shaving 0.5 points off the total.
Overall capacity remained constrained at 10.8 per cent below pre-Covid crisis levels due to the ongoing grounding of passenger aircraft.
'Air cargo is doing brisk business as the global economy continues its recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. With first-half demand eight per cent above pre-crisis levels, air cargo is a revenue lifeline for many airlines as they struggle with border closures that continue to devastate the international passenger business. Importantly, the strong first-half performance looks set to continue,' said IATA chief executive William Walsh.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo increase 3.8 per cent in June 2021 compared to the same month in 2019.
International capacity was down 19.8 per cent. North American carriers posted a 23.4 per cent increase in international demand.
International capacity decreased 2.1 per cent. European carriers posted a 6.6 per cent increase in international demand while international capacity decreased 16.2 per cent.
Middle Eastern carriers posted a 17.1 per cent rise in international cargo volumes while international capacity was down nine per cent.
Latin American carriers reported a decline of 22.9 per cent in international cargo volumes. This was the worst performance of all regions and a weakening of performance compared to the previous month. International capacity decreased 28.4 per cent.
African airlines' international cargo demand increased 33.5 per cent, the strongest performance of all regions. International capacity decreased 4.9 per cent compared.