The global air freight markets improved in November, but remain depressed compared to 2019, according to a leading trade group.

Air cargo demand continued to improve, increasing 1.6% month-on-month in November, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement on Thursday.

The group added that the global air freight market narrowed 6.6% on an annual basis in the month.

Global capacity, measured in available cargo ton-kilometers, shrank by 20% in November (21.3% for international operations), compared to the previous year.

“We are seeing continuing month-on-month improvements. Severe capacity constraints persist as large parts of the passenger fleet remain grounded. This will put pressure on the industry as it gears up to deliver vital COVID-19 vaccines,” underlined Alexandre de Juniac, the group’s CEO.

On the other hand, North America was the only region reporting year-on-year increase in demand with 5%.

Current month-on-month gains indicate that cargo tonne-kilometers will return to 2019 levels around March or April 2021, IATA noted.

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