With belly capacity from long-haul, wide body international passenger service accounting for 25% of DFW Airport’s total air cargo volume, 2020 was a tough year for one of the busiest airports in the world for passenger traffic. While some airports saw cargo volumes increase vs 2019 levels during the pandemic due to the unexpected surge in “preighters” and cargo charters, DFW experienced a decline of 11.4% in overall volumes in 2020.
The airport saw green chutes in the 4Q 2020 with cargo steadily rising 8.7% from OCT - DEC. 2021 started on a positive note with 1Q up by 3.4% vs pre-pandemic 2020 levels. March 2021 was the second strongest month since October of 2019, with total cargo throughput of 87,633 tons, up 5.8% vs March 2019 and improving 15.8% over 2020.
Moving forward IATA is forecasting air cargo will continue to be a strong business to airlines in 2021. IATA is projecting 13% growth in CTKs and expect yields to remain elevated due to the slow return of belly capacity from long-haul international wide-body passenger service. According to IATA’s economist cargo revenues are expected to rise to $152B, representing one-third of the industry’s revenue. Pre-pandemic cargo represented only 10-15% of the typical airline business. Proving once again air cargo is particularly essential and resilient in crisis situations. Hats off to all of you in the air cargo industry…Keep up the great work!