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IATA reports mixed bag for January passenger and cargo numbers

By Edward Robertson

The New Year has brought mixed blessings to the aviation industry with passenger numbers still badly depressed but cargo numbers finally beating pre-Covid levels.

New figures released by IATA show that in January, 2021, passenger demand measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) was down 72 per cent compared to January, 2019, before the start of the pandemic.

This was also worse than the drop recorded in December 2020, which measured 69.7 per cent compared to the same month in 2019.

However, cargo figures tell a very different story with global demand measured in cargo-tonne kilometres (CTK) up by 1.1 per cent in January compared to 2019 which also proved to be a 3 per cent increase on December 2020 CTK.