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Emirates, Airbus and IATA Collaborate on CBTA Training

4 June 2024

Dubai –  The International Air Transport Association (IATA), Emirates, and Airbus have joined forces to deliver a Competency-Based Training and Assessment (CBTA) program for the Airbus A350 type rating, as Emirates prepares for the delivery of its fleet of 65 A350s from mid-2024. An initial cohort of 256 pilots will be trained as part of the new course at Emirates’ Training college in Dubai starting from July 2024.

The joint work combines the respective expertise of the three organizations.

  • IATA will focus on program design using its published guidance for CBTA
  • Airbus will contribute knowledge of the aircraft along with its own CBTA experience
  • Emirates will use its CBTA training and operational experience

This collaboration will create and deliver the first A350 type rating training in full alignment with the latest International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for CBTA training and with the best practices contained in the IATA CBTA Guide for Flight Crew Training.

“Combining the expertise of Emirates, Airbus and IATA to design and deliver A350 type rating training is a unique opportunity. Our joint aim is to fully utilize the benefits of CBTA to qualify the pilots on the A350 in the most efficient and effective way possible. And by doing it together all three organizations will also gain valuable experience that can strengthen their other training activities,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s SVP for Operations, Safety and Security.

“Emirates uses cutting-edge training programs so our pilots are among the most competent flight crew in the world. The tailored CBTA program for the A350 supports the integration of 65 new A350 aircraft, with 1,000 pilots set to complete the A350 Type Rating course. This commitment enhances passenger safety and comfort, reflecting our unwavering dedication to the highest service standards,” said Capt. Bader Al Marzooqi, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Flight Training.

“The A350 is a state-of-the-art aircraft, which requires equally advanced training solutions. Our partnership with IATA and Emirates ensures that Emirates pilots receive the most comprehensive and effective training, supporting the smooth entry into service of the A350 worldwide,” said Capt. Stéphan Labrucherie, Airbus Head of Flight Training Worldwide.

About CBTA

As the demand for pilots grows worldwide, efficient and effective training methodologies are evermore critical. CBTA has proven itself a successful solution to this need. By using real-world training scenarios, it focuses on the competences needed to manage complex combinations of operational and environmental situations that crew face. An example of such a scenario could be landing in a high-density traffic area in adverse weather conditions.


Gaining the benefits and efficiencies of CBTA training is a longstanding industry objective. For flight crew, IATA is supporting this with its CBTA Guide for Flight Crew Training, which is fully aligned with ICAO CBTA standards and includes specific libraries for Airlines/Operators and Training Organizations.

IATA also focuses on CBTA training in support of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. The IATA CBTA Center supports organizations across the aviation industry, including operators, Civil Aviation Authorities, and training organizations, in developing the capabilities and resources for dangerous goods training programs. It also offers CBTA training specialized for various airline functions from ground handlers to passenger agents, load planning, crew and others.

IndiGo to Host 81st IATA AGM in Delhi

3 June 2024

Dubai – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that IndiGo will host the 81st IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Delhi, India, on 8-10 June 2025.

“We look forward to gathering the aviation industry in Delhi, India’s gateway city, for the 81st IATA AGM in 2025. It’s been over four decades since the industry came together for an IATA AGM in Delhi. With record aircraft orders, impressive growth, and world-class infrastructure developments, India is firmly on the trajectory to become the world’s third largest aviation market within this decade.  With such bright prospects, it’s the perfect time for the IATA AGM to return to India and witness these exciting developments first hand,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

“IndiGo is proud to be host airline for the 81st IATA AGM and looks forward to welcoming the global aviation community to Delhi in 2025. India, becoming the third largest economy within the next few years and leading the fourth industrial revolution with the use of AI, is a nation on the move. India’s rise in the global aviation landscape over the last years has been nothing short of remarkable, said Pieter Elbers, CEO, IndiGo.

“IndiGo has been giving wings to the nation since 2006 and increasingly also expands internationally. Building on aviation as a force for good and India’s unique diversity, we are looking forward to engaging in meaningful dialogues aimed at sculpting the global aviation landscape around important topics such as safety, diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as sustainability, while efficiently delivering the growing global demand for air travel,” said Elbers.

The decision to host the 81st IATA AGM in India was made at the 80th IATA AGM in Dubai. This will be the third time the IATA AGM has convened in Delhi, having previously visited India in 1958 and 1983.


73 CEOs Commit to the IATA Safety Leadership Charter, Strengthening Global Safety Culture

3 June 2024         No. 25

Dubai – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the number of airline CEOs committing to the IATA Safety Leadership Charter has reached 73. This reinforces aviation’s already strong safety culture which contributed to some best-ever results in 2023, including no fatalities among IATA member airlines or the airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit Registry.

“Strong leadership and strong safety culture are interdependent. And both are needed to drive continuous improvements in safety performance. By putting their names to the IATA Safety Leadership Charter, 73 airline CEOs have set an example for their airlines and for the industry. In doing so, the Charter is a call to action that keeps in focus the critical obligation of airline CEOs to lead a safety culture that keeps their passengers and staff safe,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

The IATA Safety Leadership Charter was developed in consultation with IATA members and the wider aviation community. Its aim is to support industry executives in evolving a positive safety culture within their organizations around eight leadership principles.

  • Reinforcing safety through both words and actions.
  • Fostering safety awareness among employees, the leadership team, and the board.
  • Guiding the integration of safety into business strategies, processes, and performance measures.
  • Creating the internal capacity to proactively manage safety and collectively achieve organizational safety goals.
  • Creating an atmosphere of trust, where all employees feel responsible for safety and are encouraged and expected to report safety-related information.
  • Establishing a working environment in which clear expectations of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are communicated and understood.
  • Creating an environment where all employees feel responsibility for safety.
  • Regularly assessing and improving an organizational Safety Culture.

IATA aims to support the industry in continuously improving safety performance with a three-pillar strategy consisting of:

  • Safety Leadership (including both safety leadership and culture),


  • Safety Risk (identifying and mitigating risks through data collection and analysis from audits, accident reports, and other sources)
  • Safety Connect (providing the links so that safety leaders report, discuss, and resolve safety issues).

Airline Profitability Outlook Improves for 2024

Dubai – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced strengthened profitability projections for airlines in 2024 compared with its June and December 2023 forecasts. An aggregate return above the cost of capital, however, continues to elude the global airline industry.

Outlook highlights include:

  • Net profits are expected to reach $30.5 billion in 2024 (3.1% net profit margin). That will be an improvement on 2023 net profits which are estimated to be $27.4 billion (3.0% net profit margin). It is also an improvement on the $25.7 billion (2.7% net profit margin) forecast for 2024 profits that IATA released in December 2023.
  • Return on invested capital in 2024 is expected to be 5.7%, which is about 3.4 percentage points (ppt) below the average cost of capital.
  • Operating profits are expected to reach $59.9 billion in 2024, up from an estimated $52.2 billion in 2023.
  • Total revenues are expected to reach $996 billion (+9.7%) in 2024—a record high.
  • Total expenses are expected to reach $936 billion (+9.4%) in 2024—a record high.
  • Total travelers are expected to reach 4.96 billion in 2024—a record high.
  • Total air cargo volumes are expected to reach 62 million tonnes in 2024.


“In a world of many and growing uncertainties, airlines continue to shore-up their profitability. The expected aggregate net profit of $30.5 billion in 2024 is a great achievement considering the recent deep pandemic losses. With a record five billion air travelers expected in 2024, the human need to fly has never been stronger. Moreover, the global economy counts on air cargo to deliver the $8.3 trillion of trade that gets to customers by air. Without a doubt, aviation is vital to the ambitions and prosperity of individuals and economies. Strengthening airline profitability and growing financial resilience is important. Profitability enables investments in products to meet the needs of our customers and in the sustainability solutions we will need to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

“The airline industry is on the path to sustainable profits, but there is a big gap still to cover. A 5.7% return on invested capital is well below the cost of capital, which is over 9%. And earning just $6.14 per passenger is an indication of just how thin our profits are—barely enough for a coffee in many parts of the world. To improve profitability, resolving supply chain issues is of critical importance so we can deploy fleets efficiently to meet demand. And relief from the parade of onerous regulation and ever-increasing tax proposals would also help. An emphasis on public policy measures that drive business competitiveness would be a win for the economy, for jobs, and for connectivity. It would also place us in a strong position to accelerate investments in sustainability,” said Walsh.

Outlook Drivers

Profitability is expected to strengthen in 2024 as revenues grow slightly faster than expenses (+9.7% vs. +9.4% respectively). Operating profits are expected to reach $59.9 billion (+14.7% from $52.2 billion estimated for 2023). Net profits, however, are expected to grow slightly more slowly at +11.3%, from $27.4 billion estimated for 2023 to $30.5 billion estimated for 2024.


Industry revenues are expected to reach an historic high of $996 billion in 2024.

Passenger revenues are expected to reach $744 billion in 2024, up 15.2% from $646 billion in 2023. Revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) growth is expected to be 11.6% year on year. The long-term 20-year growth trend is expected to see passenger demand grow 3.8% annually for the 2023-2043 period.

  • Passenger yields are expected to strengthen 3.2% over 2023.
  • When measured in constant 2018 dollars, the real average return airfare in 2024 is expected to be $252, significantly less than the $306 of 2019. This continues the trend of ever-increasing affordability for air travel, even if the figures are somewhat skewed by shorter journey distances in 2024 due to the slower pace of recovery in some long-haul markets. In line with this, IATA’s April 2024 polling data revealed that 77% of respondents agree that air travel is good value for money.
  • The average passenger load factor is expected to be 82.5% in 2024. This is largely in line with pre-pandemic levels (82.6% in 2019) and reflects tight supply and demand conditions from ongoing supply chain issues for aircraft and engines.

IATA’s April 2024 polling data aligned with expectations for continued strong performance in passenger markets.

  • Some 39% of respondents expect to travel more over the next 12 months than they did in the previous 12-month period. The majority (54%) said that they expect to travel as much as they did in the previous 12 months. Only 6% reported that they expect to travel less.
  • Some 46% of respondents expect to spend more on travel over the next 12 months than they did in the previous 12 months. An almost equal proportion (45%) expect to spend the same on travel over the next twelve months while 9% expect to spend less.

Cargo revenues are expected to fall to $120 billion in 2024 (from $138 billion in 2023). Both are down sharply from the extraordinary peak of $210 billion in 2021, but it is above 2019 revenues, which were $101 billion and an improvement on the previous forecast of $111 billion (announced in December 2023).

Despite the strength of demand, cargo yields are expected to fall 17.5% in 2024 while remaining slightly above 2019 levels. This is a normalization after extraordinary pandemic highs. A key factor in this is the significant belly capacity that entered the market in 2023 in tandem with the recovery of passenger travel.

In general, air cargo is in a period of correction following an exceptional year in 2021. Yields, capacity growth, the belly-dedicated freighter split, and other key metrics are moving from the extraordinary mid-pandemic situation towards a continuation of pre-pandemic trends and levels.


Industry expenses are expected to grow to $936 billion in 2024 (+9.4% on 2023).

Fuel is expected to average $113.8/barrel (jet) in 2024 translating into a total fuel bill of $291 billion, accounting for 31% of all operating costs.

  • High crude oil prices are expected to continue to be further exaggerated for airlines as the crack spread (premium paid to refine crude oil into jet fuel) is expected to average 30% in 2024.
  • SAF production could rise to satisfy 0.53% of global demand for fuel in 2024, the cost of which will be $3.75 billion. That is $2.4 billion additional to what it would cost to purchase the same quantity of jet fuel. CORSIA-related costs are estimated to account for a further $600 million in 2024.
  • Industry CO2 emissions in 2024 are expected to be 935 million tonnes from consumption of 99 billion gallons of fuel.

Non-fuel expenses have been well-controlled. Non-fuel unit costs are expected to be 39 cents per available tonne kilometer (ATK), unchanged from 2023. This is slightly below the 39.2 cents/ATK reported in 2019.

  • Labor costs have been tightly controlled with unit labor costs expected to be 12.9 cents/ATK, an improvement of 2.4% compared with 2023. Due to higher volumes, the overall cost of labor is expected to grow 7.6% to $214 billion in 2024.
  • Total employment in airlines is expected to reach 3.07 million, which slightly exceeds the 2.93 million employed in 2019.


An inventory of 38.7 million flights is expected to be available in 2024. This is 1.4 million flights below previous estimates (December 2023) largely attributable to the slowing pace of deliveries in the face of persistent supply chain issues in the aerospace sector. For example, the number of aircraft deliveries scheduled for 2024 is expected to be 1,583, which is 11% less than the expectations published just months ago that anticipated 1,777 aircraft would join the global fleet in 2024. Airlines are deploying larger aircraft as a mitigating strategy.


Industry profitability is fragile and could be affected positively or negatively by many factors:

  • Global economic developments: Airline prospects have historically been closely linked to global economic trends. Nonetheless, the sector has been largely resilient in the face of inflation, high interest rates, and slowing GDP growth in the post-pandemic period.

Economic developments in China should be closely watched. Slowing growth, youth unemployment, and the relative strength of the service sector over manufacturing are all indications that China’s economy is in transition, which could have broad impacts beyond its borders.

  • War: The operational impact of the Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas war have been largely limited to the immediate vicinity of these conflicts. An escalation of either conflict has the potential to shift the economic outlook negatively.
  • Supply chains: Supply chain issues continue to affect global trade and business. Airlines have been directly impacted by unforeseen maintenance issues on some aircraft/engine types as well as delays in the delivery of aircraft parts and of aircraft, limiting capacity expansion and fleet renewal.
  • Regulatory risk: On the regulatory front, airlines could face rising costs of compliance, and additional costs pertaining to passenger rights regimes, regional environment initiatives, and accessibility requirements.
  • Public policy: With more people going to the polls than in any other year, 2024 has the potential to significantly shift the global political landscape. Although a greater political focus on business-friendly policies and strengthening economies would be welcome, a political shift away from global institutions, international trade, and policy paralysis from polarized politics would likely be detrimental. Further, as airlines redouble their decarbonization efforts, any slipping in the political determination to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 could risk the policy support that airlines need to achieve this important goal.

Regional Roundup

In 2024, all regions are expected to generate profits for a second year in a row with the most significant increase being for Asia-Pacific carriers.

North America

2023 Net Profit (e)
(per passenger)
2024 Net Profit (f)
(per passenger)
Demand (RPK)
Capacity (ASK)
$14.8 billion
$14.8 billion
+7.0% +8.1%    

North America continues to be the most significant contributor to industry profits, supported by a high passenger load factor, robust yields, and strong consumer spending despite cost-of-living pressure. In 2024, passenger demand (RPK growth of 7%) and a strong load factor at 84% are expected to strengthen revenue development and operating profitability. Canada is seeing slower growth in traffic and greater wage pressure than the US market.


2023 Net Profit (e)
(per passenger)
2024 Net Profit (f)
(per passenger)
Demand (RPK)
Capacity (ASK)
$8.6 billion
$9.0 billion
+11.1% +11.5%    

Europe has a positive outlook on performance with demand expected to remain strong in 2024.  However, supply chain issues, together with high interest rates and the risk of labor disputes could limit the prospects for further near-term increases in profitability.


2023 Net Profit (e)
(per passenger)
2024 Net Profit (f)
(per passenger)
Demand (RPK)
Capacity (ASK)
$0.6 billion
$2.2 billion
+17.1% +14.1%    

Asia-Pacific is expected to be responsible for half of the world’s RPK growth in 2024 driven largely by recovering domestic markets in China, Japan, and Australia. International travel in the region remains subdued, especially in China, where it is still below the pre-COVID levels. This indicates that there is still a lot of pent-up demand for cross-border travel in the region, which will likely boost future growth prospects.

Latin America

2023 Net Profit (e)
(per passenger)
2024 Net Profit (f)
(per passenger)
Demand (RPK)
Capacity (ASK)
$0.2 billion
$0.6 billion
+8.2% +8.1%    


Latin America has seen a steady improvement in financial performance since 2020, even as the performance across the region has been mixed. Where financial performance is lagging, this is largely a consequence of the economic and social turmoil observed in parts of the region. Countries in Central America, especially Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are key contributors to the region’s growth in profits. The improved outlook for 2024 is supported by the airlines in the region reporting strong sales growth and high profitability in the first quarter of the year and raising their guidance for the full year.

Middle East

2023 Net Profit (e)
(per passenger)
2024 Net Profit (f)
(per passenger)
Demand (RPK)
Capacity (ASK)
$3.1 billion
$3.8 billion
+9.3% +10.8%  


The Middle East benefits from the strength of both the region’s economies and its global hubs. The United Arab Emirates continues to benefit from its attractiveness to both leisure and business travelers.  Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s massive investments in infrastructure and tourism are delivering robust growth in passenger and cargo volumes. Although airlines continue to add capacity, yields remain healthy and the demand for travel remains buoyant and looks set to continue apace. Geopolitical risks are the main threat, especially to the Levant carriers. The Gulf carriers are relatively less impacted unless tensions between Iran and Israel escalate.


2023 Net Profit (e)
(per passenger)
2024 Net Profit (f)
(per passenger)
Demand (RPK)
Capacity (ASK)
$0.1 billion
$0.1 billion
+8.5% +9.1%

Africa has a high operational cost base and a low propensity to spend on air travel. Moreover, connectivity challenges dampen the industry’s expansion and performance. Despite these headwinds, there is sustained demand for air travel, which should allow the market to deliver a second year of profitability.


Airline profitability for 2023 was better than expected in IATA’s December outlook. Revenues for 2023 are now expected to have reached $908 billion ($12 billion higher than the previous forecast). Expenses grew to $856 billion ($1 billion higher than the previous forecast). That translated into a $27.4 billion industry wide net profit ($4.0 billion higher than the previous forecast). As a result, the net profit margin for 2023 was 3.0%, which is above the previously forecast 2.6%.

The Traveler’s Viewpoint

Air travel continues to deliver value to consumers. IATA’s April 2024 public opinion poll revealed that 97% of travelers expressed satisfaction with their travel. Moreover, 91% agreed that connectivity by air is critical for the economy and 89% said it has a positive impact on societies.

Passengers are counting on a safe, sustainable, efficient, and profitable airline industry. IATA public opinion polling demonstrated the important role that travelers see the airline industry playing:

  • 86% said that business travel is an easy investment to justify.
  • 77% agreed that air travel is good value for money.
  • 90% said that air travel is a necessity for modern life.
  • 83% recognized that the global air transport network is a key contributor to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Aviation remains committed to its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Travelers are expressing high levels of confidence in this commitment, with 82% believing it is the right goal, 76% saying that we will be able to fly sustainably, and 78% agreeing that aviation leaders are taking the climate challenge seriously.



Industry Makes Progress to Reduce Baggage Mishandling, New Survey Reveals

9 May 2024

Reykjavík – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today released a global progress report on the implementation of baggage tracking. Focused on IATA Resolution 753, which requires tracking baggage at acceptance, loading, transfer and arrival, the survey of 155 airlines and 94 airports reveals that:

  • 44% of airlines have fully implemented Resolution 753 and a further 41% are in progress
  • Regional variation in airline full adoption rates vary from 88% in China and North Asia, to 60% in the Americas, 40% in Europe and Asia-Pacific, and 27% in Africa
  • 75% of airports surveyed have the capability for Resolution 753 baggage tracking
  • Airport preparedness for Resolution 753 varies by size*: 75% of mega airports are capable, 85% of major airports, 82% of large airports and 61% of medium airports.
  • Optical barcode scanning is the dominant tracking technology implemented by the majority of airports (73%) surveyed. Tracking using RFID, which is more efficient, is implemented in 27% of surveyed airports. Notably, RFID technology has seen higher adoption rates at mega airports, with 54% already implementing this advanced tracking system.

“Between 2007 and 2022 baggage mishandling reduced by nearly 60%. That is good news. But travelers expect better; and the industry is determined to make further improvements. Tracking bags at acceptance, loading, transfer and delivery will give the industry the data it needs to improve. Tracking reduces overall mishandlings and helps airlines reunite mishandled bags with their owners even faster. With 44% of airlines already fully implementing Resolution 753 tracking and a further 41% in progress, travelers can have even more confidence that their bags will be at the carousel on arrival,” said Monika Mejstrikova, IATA Director Ground Operations.

In 2022, the global rate of mishandled bags was 7.6 per 1,000 passengers, according to SITA. The majority of these were returned within 48 hours.

Accelerating Modern Baggage Messaging

Resolution 753 requires airlines to exchange baggage tracking messages with interline partners and their agents. The current baggage messaging infrastructure depends on legacy technologies using costly Type B messaging. This high cost adversely affects the implementation of Resolution 753 and contributes to issues with message quality, leading to an increase in baggage mishandling.


IATA is leading the industry’s transition from Type B to modern baggage messaging based on XML standards. The first pilot to test modern baggage messaging between airport and airlines is planned for launch in 2024.

“Adopting modern messaging is the equivalent of implementing a new standard, intelligible language for use by airlines, airports, and ground handling staff so they can effectively communicate about passenger luggage. In addition to helping reduce the number of mishandled bags implementation also sets the stage for ongoing innovations in baggage management systems,” said Mejstrikova.

IATA resolution 753 was adopted by June in 2018. In 2024, IATA launched a campaign to assist airlines with the implementation. The campaign focuses on collecting data on the implementation status of airlines and providing support to member airlines to develop and execute their implementation plans. This initiative underscores IATA’s commitment to enhancing operational efficiencies and standards across the industry.

Singapore Airlines taps WebCargo by Freightos to expand booking options in Asia-Pacific’s busiest hubs

May 3, 2024 by Payload Asia

WebCargo by Freightos (NASDAQ: CRGO), a leading vendor-neutral booking and payment platform for the international freight industry, is excited to announce that Singapore Airlines’ cargo capacity is now being offered on WebCargo’s platform.  This relationship with Singapore Airlines underscores WebCargo’s position as the leading digital platform for the air freight industry, offering its users an end-to-end booking experience while expanding its reach in the Asia-Pacific region. Digital bookings for shipments from Asia origins on WebCargo more than doubled between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023, showing a strong appetite for digitalization in Asia, a trend that will likely be accelerated with Singapore’s national carrier on the platform.

With a fleet of seven Boeing 747-400F freighters and over 190 Singapore Airlines and Scoot passenger aircraft serving more than 120 destinations, Singapore Airlines brings expanded reach to the thousands of freight forwarders that use WebCargo’s platform for real-time air cargo pricing and booking starting this week. The partnership provides WebCargo’s users with additional access to sought-after Asia-Pacific destinations, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Coverage on the platform is slated to increase over the course of the year.

Marvin Tan, Senior Vice President Cargo, Singapore Airlines, said, “Singapore Airlines’ partnership with WebCargo expands our reach to new markets, and provides our customers with a seamless user experience when they search, book, and track their shipments in real time. This enables us to better serve our customers by responding even more swiftly to their evolving needs.”

Manel Galindo, Chief Revenue Officer of Freightos, said, “We’re thrilled to work with Singapore Airlines.  Their commitment to digital innovation aligns perfectly with WebCargo’s mission to provide seamless and efficient booking solutions for the air cargo industry and allows us to double down on the recent surge in bookings from Asia. This collaboration will enhance the booking experience for thousands of freight forwarders and will ultimately make world trade smoother.”

Forwarders can sign up for a free WebCargo account and book with Singapore Airlines Cargo here.

WebCargo is the leading platform for live air cargo rate distribution and bookings between

hundreds of airlines and 3,500+ forwarders across over 10,000 forwarding offices. Partners include over 30 airlines, including China Southern, American Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Etihad Cargo, Air France KLM, IAG Cargo, SAS, Qatar Airways Cargo, JALCARGO, and Emirates SkyCargo. Forwarders not yet using WebCargo can register for a free account at and begin accessing instant eBookings with dozens of carriers.

Freightos® (Nasdaq: CRGO) is the leading, vendor-neutral booking and payment platform that connects carriers, freight forwarders, and importers/exporters to make international shipping faster, more cost-effective and more reliable.  Freightos operates, a global freight marketplace for importers and exporters, Clearit, a digital customs brokerage, and Freightos Terminal, a one-stop global freight market intelligence solution that offers data on real-time pricing, transit times, the Freightos Air Index (FAX) and Freightos Baltic Index (FBX), and a news feed.

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Passenger Demand Up 13.8% in March


Passenger Demand Up 13.8% in March

1 May 2024         No. 16


Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for March 2024 global passenger demand with the following highlights:

  • Total demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), was up 13.8% compared to March 2023. Total capacity, measured in available seat kilometers (ASK), was up 12.3% year-on-year. The March load factor was 82.0% (+1.0ppt compared to March 2023).
  • International demand rose 18.9% compared to March 2023; capacity was up 18.8% year-on-year and the load factor improved to 81.6% (+0.1ppt on March 2023).
  • Domestic demand rose 6.6% compared to March 2023; capacity was up 3.4% year-on-year and the load factor was 82.6% (+2.5ppt compared to March 2023).

“Demand for travel is strong. And there is every indication that this should continue into the peak Northern Summer travel season. It is critical that we have the capacity to meet this demand and ensure a hassle-free travel experience for passengers. That means making urgent progress to resolve supply chain issues and for airports and air traffic management to be fully staffed and operating at maximum efficiency. While airlines are prepared for customer care and assistance when operational issues arise, they are fed-up of bearing the cost when delays and cancellations are the result of poor preparation in other parts of the value chain,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Air passenger market in detail – March 2024

March 2024

(% year-on-year)             World share1     RPK        ASK        PLF (%-pt)           PLF (level)

Total Market      100%     13.8%    12.3%    1.0%      82.0%

Africa    2.1%      10.0%    12.3%    -1.5%     72.1%

Asia Pacific          31.7%    24.2%    17.9%    4.3%      83.5%

Europe 27.1%    10.6%    10.2%    0.3%      80.9%

Latin America     5.5%      10.9%    8.8%      1.5%      83.1%

Middle East        9.4%      10.5%    13.6%    -2.1%     77.5%

North America  24.2%    6.3%      7.6%      -1.0%     83.7%

1% of industry RPKs in 2023

Regional Breakdown – International Passenger Markets

All regions showed strong growth for international passenger markets in March 2024 compared to March 2023. Load factor performance was patchy, falling year-on-year in three of the six regions.

Asia-Pacific airlines continue to lead with way, with a 38.5% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity increased 37.4% year-on-year and the load factor rose to 85.6% (+0.7ppt compared to March 2023), the highest among all regions. Major routes from Asia-Pacific display outstanding growth, although the number of scheduled air services from China to North America is still only 16.5% of pre-pandemic levels.

European carriers saw an 11.6% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity increased 11.4% year-on-year, and the load factor was 79.9% (up just 0.1ppt compared to March 2023).

Middle Eastern airlines saw a 10.8% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity increased 13.9% year-on-year and the load factor fell -2.1ppt to 77.5% compared to March 2023.

North American carriers saw a 14.5% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity increased 14.8% year-on-year, and the load factor fell to 84.7% (-0.2ppt compared to March 2023).

Latin American airlines saw a 19.7% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity climbed 18.3% year-on-year. The load factor rose to 84.3% (+0.9ppt compared to March 2023).

African airlines saw an 8.1% year-on-year increase in demand. Capacity was up 11.0% year-on-year. The load factor fell to 70.3% (-1.9ppt compared to March 2023).

Domestic markets

Domestic demand increased at a slower pace in March, moderating to typical pre-pandemic growth rates. China (+17.6% compared to March 2023) continued to be the leading market. Other markets showed stable growth with the exception of Australia. Its drop in growth may reflect the wider economic slowdown in Q1 in the country.

Air passenger market in detail – March 2024

March 2024

(% year-on-year)             World share1     RPK        ASK        PLF (%-pt)           PLF (level)

Domestic             39.9%    6.6%      3.4%      2.5%      82.6%

Dom. Australia  0.8%      1.8%      3.9%      -1.7%     79.8%

Dom. Brazil         1.2%      1.6%      -0.1%     1.3%      79.9%

Dom. China P.R.                11.2%    17.6%    5.3%      8.5%      80.7%

Dom. India          1.8%      3.8%      3.5%      0.2%      85.8%

Dom. Japan        1.1%      3.3%      -1.7%     4.0%      82.5%

Dom. US              15.4%    2.6%      4.5%      -1.5%     82.9%

1% of industry RPKs in 2023

Note: the six domestic passenger markets for which broken-down data are available account for approximately 31.4% of global total RPKs and 78.8% of total domestic RPKs

>Read the latest Passenger Market Analysis


Korean Air to launch new route to Macau

April 26, 2024 by Payload Asia

route to Macau

(Seoul, April 26, 2024) – Korean Air is launching a new daily service between Seoul Incheon and Macau from July 1.

Flights depart from Incheon International Airport at 9:15 pm and arrive at Macau International Airport at 11:55 pm. The return flight departs from Macau International Airport at 1:10 am the next day and arrives at Incheon International Airport at 6:00 am. The flight time is approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Macau, a special administrative region of China, offers a unique blend of Chinese and Portuguese cultures. With its mild winters, it is considered a great travel destination year round. Visitors can explore exotic streets, historic buildings and the vibrant skyline as well as enjoy many activities such as night bus tours and fountain shows.

Macau’s proximity to Hong Kong, accessible within an hour by ferry or bus, offers further travel convenience. Korean Air also operates four daily flights between Seoul Incheon and Hong Kong.

In response to growing travel demand, Korean Air is restoring services and exploring new markets to strengthen its China network. The airline has resumed three weekly flights between Seoul Incheon and Zhangjiajie and four weekly flights between Seoul Incheon and Zhengzhou from April 23 and 24, respectively.

Flight schedule for Seoul Incheon – Macau route

HKIA Crowned World’s Busiest Cargo Airport Again in 2023

HKIA Crowned World’s Busiest Cargo Airport Again in 2023

World’s Busiest Cargo Airport

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has been named once again the world’s busiest cargo airport for 2023 in terms of total volume, according to the latest data released by Airports Council International (ACI). The airport handled 4.3 million tonnes of cargo during the year. It is the 13th time since 2010 that HKIA is named the busiest cargo airport in the world.

Jack So, Chairman of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), said, “We are proud to have claimed once again the top spot for air cargo throughput. This accomplishment demonstrates HKIA’s resilience, unparalleled efficiency and world-class cargo services. Air cargo is a key driver of the growth of Hong Kong’s logistics industry and overall economic development. AAHK shall continue to work tirelessly with our air cargo community to further strengthen HKIA’s competitiveness as a global cargo hub.”

To ensure adequate capacity to meet long-term demand, HKIA is expanding into a Three-runway System (3RS), with which the airport will be able to handle 10 million tonnes of cargo annually.  The 3RS is targeted to be completed by the end of this year, with all three runways operating.

To capture future growth opportunities, HKIA is focusing on the high-value and fast-growing segments. HKIA is the first airport in the world to attain the full suite of Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certifications from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the handling of high-value goods, including pharmaceuticals, perishables, live animals and lithium batteries.

In response to the rapid rise of e-commerce, an array of developments are progressing full steam at HKIA to capture the tremendous opportunities. In 2023, HKIA saw the completion of the Cainiao Smart Gateway, developed by Alibaba Group’s logistics arm, and the expansion of DHL’s Central Asia Hub, which increased its capacity by 50 percent. Meanwhile, United Parcel Service has announced their plan to establish a new hub facility at HKIA.

To enhance connectivity with the Greater Bay Area (GBA), HKIA has launched a novel cargo sea-air transshipment operation which enables security screening, palletisation, cargo acceptance, and other services to be completed upstream at the HKIA Dongguan Logistics Park before the cargo is shipped to HKIA by sea for air transshipment to worldwide destinations.

Conversely, a similar process is in place for international imports to the Mainland. The new model revolutionises the way HKIA supports transshipment, and will reinforce HKIA’s role as the most important international cargo gateway for the GBA.

Other Topics: Air Cargo Network, Air Express, Air Freight Services, Air Logistics, Airports, Asia Pacific Air Cargo, Asia Pacific Air Freight, Asia Pacific Air Logistics, Asia Pacific Shipments, Busiest Airport, Cainiao, Cargo Flights, E-Commerce Logistics, Express Delivery, Express Logistics, HKIA. AAHK, Hong Kong International Airport, International Air Shipments, International Express Delivery, Transpacific Air Cargo, Transpacific Air Freight

Air Cargo Demand Maintains Double-Digit Growth in February

Geneva –  The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for February 2024 global air cargo markets showing continuing strong annual growth in demand.

  • Total demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), rose by 11.9% compared to February 2023 levels (12.4% for international operations). This is the third consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year demand growth.
  • Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), increased by 13.4% compared to February 2023 (16.0% for international operations). This was largely related to the increase in international belly capacity accompanying growth in passenger markets (29.5% year-on-year increase), which far exceeded international capacity on freighters (3.2% year-on-year increase).

“February’s demand growth of 11.9% far outpaced the 0.9% expansion in cross-border trade. This strong start for 2024 could see demand surpass the exceptionally high levels of early 2022. It also shows air cargo’s strong resilience in the face of continuing political and economic uncertainties,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Several factors in the operating environment should be noted:

  • Global cross-border trade increased by 0.9% in January.
  • In February, the manufacturing output Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) climbed to 51.2, indicating expansion. The new export orders PMI also rose to 49.4, remaining slightly below the 50 threshold that would indicate growth.
  • February year-on-year inflation dropped to 2.8% in the EU while rising to 2.8% and 3.2% in Japan and the US respectively. After four months of deflation, China reported a 0.7% increase in inflation year-on-year—a positive development amid concerns over China’s economic slowdown.

Air cargo market in detail – February 2024

February 2024

(% year-on-year)             World share1     CTK        ACTK     CLF (%-pt)           CLF (level)

Total Market      100%     11.9%    13.4%    -0.6%     45.1%

Africa    2.0%      22.0%    28.2%    -2.3%     45.1%

Asia Pacific          33.3%    11.9%    23.1%    -4.3%     43.2%

Europe 21.4%    14.6%    13.2%    0.7%      58.4%

Latin America     2.8%      13.7%    8.9%      1.6%      37.6%

Middle East        13.5%    20.9%    16.2%    1.8%      46.3%

North America  26.9%    4.2%      1.9%      0.9%      39.6%

1% of industry CTKs in 2023

February Regional Performance

Asia-Pacific airlines saw 11.9% year-on-year demand growth for air cargo in February. This was a significant decrease compared to January’s 24.3% year-on-year growth, likely related to slowing activity after the Lunar New Year celebrations. Capacity increased by 23.1% year-on-year as belly capacity came online with recovery in the passenger business.

North American carriers saw 4.2% year-on-year demand growth for air cargo in February—the weakest among all regions. Demand on the North America–Europe trade lane grew by 5.2% year-on-year while Asia–North America grew by 3.9% year-on-year.  February capacity increased by 1.9% year-on-year.

European carriers saw 14.6% year-on-year demand growth for air cargo in February. Intra-European air cargo rose by 24.5% year-on-year—the strongest performance in almost three years. Europe – Middle East routes saw demand grow by 39.3% year-on-year, while Europe – North America expanded by 5.2% year-on-year.  February capacity increased 13.2% year-on-year.