Air passenger travel recovery spells good news for cargo - October 2022

Air passenger travel is steadily returning to pre-pandemic levels, with associated benefits for importers and exporters.

Delegates at the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation (CBAFF) annual conference in Queenstown heard from experts from across the passenger and air cargo sector about how steadily increasing passenger travel will support cargo freight.

Alexander Larsen, Global Sales Manager Cargo for Air NZ, outlined the “Inextricable link between tourism and cargo freight”.

“About 80 per cent of New Zealand’s import and export air freight is done in the belly of passenger aircraft,” said Mr Larsen. “We are not a freight-led market because, traditionally, we have been a very attractive tourist destination. When tourism is buoyant it leads to better outcomes of market access and breadth of market. More capacity coming into the market, generally speaking, improves the total cost of market access.

“When tourism is good, generally speaking, freight is good but, of course, we have had complications in the last couple of years, to say the least. We are now seeing the other side of that and moving away from the cargo-only operating model we have been in for a couple of years.”

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