The coming air cargo reality check: how the industry will evolve through COVID-19

Nearly six months since the World Health Organization officially declared Covid-19 a pandemic, the
world is still in a state of near-emergency. Aviation as a whole is, as is well documented, being hit hard by the ongoing restrictions in travel. The air cargo business has also been affected, but to a lesser extent.

Cargo is a short-term winner for the industry

At the peak of the crisis in April, global cargo capacity was 44% lower than in the same period in 2019. However, the demand decline was not quite as steep, at just 33% against 2019. This, coupled with extraordinarily high demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical goods resulted in air cargo rates skyrocketing by up to 200% on the most important trade-lanes.

As a result, cargo has emerged as a lifeline for many airlines. It was the most profitable business
segment for Lufthansa Group in Q2 2020, and helped Korean Air and Asiana avoid operating losses for the same period. American Airlines recently completed its 1000th successful belly-cargo-only flight since the start of the pandemic. Clearly, cargo is no longer only a byproduct or afterthought of airline operations. It has become a significant factor in airlines’ strategic planning, necessitating a robust view of its development as the industry recovers from the effects of COVID-19.

Lufthansa Consulting addresses the outlook for the industry on three dimensions – volume (demand), capacity (supply) and yield levels.

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Best Consultants 2022

Best Consultants 2022: Lufthansa Consulting ranked among the top consulting firms in Germany

Listed by brandeins, the renowned German business and trend magazine, for the seventh time. Lufthansa Consulting ranked top of the category "aerospace and defense" and ranked high in the area "transport, traffic and logistics". The rating is greatly respected throughout a wide range of industries and is based on recommendations from industry experts and client assessments.