International air cargo growth slowed in January and could be hit by the Russia/Ukraine conflict with lower capacity and higher rates in the coming months, IATA warned yesterday.

The international airline association commented in its latest monthly traffic data release that the conflict “will have a negative impact on air cargo”, especially as airspace closures would stop direct connectivity to many markets connected to Russia.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, predicted: “We can expect cargo markets to be impacted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Sanction-related shifts in manufacturing and economic activity, rising oil prices and geopolitical uncertainty are converging. Capacity is expected to come under greater pressure and rates are likely to rise. To what extent, however, it is still too early to predict.”

However, IATA underlined: “Overall, the impact on global markets is expected to be low as cargo carried to/from/within Russia accounted for just 0.6% of the global cargo carried by air in 2021. Several specialized cargo carriers are registered in Russia and Ukraine, particularly those involved with heavy lift operations.”

Source: CEP-Research