In 2021 sea shipping disruption caused many companies to utilise air freight as a quick and reliable way to transport goods. Air freight prices rose to two-and-a-half-times higher than pre-pandemic levels. Brexit and decarbonisation continued to remain challenges for air freight, as well as the return of passenger travel.
Before the pandemic, bellyhold cargo in passengert planes at Heathrow Airport accounted for around 60% of UK air freight volume, with the air cargo industry typically representing around 12% of airlines’ revenues on average.
COVID-19 therefore had a major impact on air cargo.