In our March 2020 contribution for Cargo Pulse we highlighted that the reduction in air cargo capacity across the Atlantic had not yet resulted in higher loadfactors. And that we would keep an eye out for the impact of the then announced reductions, during the month of April.
With just a few days left in April the overall picture is clear (see graph). The vast reduction in air cargo capacity has pushed the dynamic loadfactor on flights from Europe to North America in calendar week 17 to 89%.
To put this number in to perspective, this is 26% points (!) higher than for the same week in 2019. Admittedly, this is not a true like-for-like analyses, as week 17 in 2019 was the week of Easter, which is normally a relatively slow week. But even in the preceding weeks the loadfactor in 2020 was 15-17% points higher than for the same weeks in 2019.
These high loadfactors come a long way to explain the increase in cargo rates, which is frequently referred to in the air cargo publications.
Interesting to note further is that the overall capacity in week 17 on the above lane, grew by 15% versus the pervious week. Reflecting the big push by passenger airline to use their passenger planes as cargo only aircraft.
For our May contribution we will focus on the China market, to see if the current need for PPE (personal protective equipment) materials, continues.